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Wild garlic and local cheddar aligot with steamed chard and poached eggs
Wild garlic and local cheddar aligot with steamed chard and poached eggs
added by River Cottage Canteen Bath

You could call this ‘cheesy-garlicky mashed potatoes’ but the French think aligot sounds better and so do I. Traditionally you would roast a whole bulb of garlic until soft, then squeeze out the soft puree and stir this into mashed spuds with a handful of grated Gruyere or your local semi-hard cheese. As wild garlic is abundant right now, I’ve decided to use that instead. It has a more pungent flavour than roasted garlic and also gives you attractive green flecks in the potato that forewarn you of the flavour before you even try a mouthful. Use good eggs with a farmyard flavour and the dish will make much more sense and be so much more interesting. If you’re not comforted by this lunch, then you don’t need comforting.

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  • Serves 2
  • 3 large potatoes with a good
  • flavour (we are using Desiree
  • right now)
  • 50g organic butter
  • Splash milk
  • Handful of grated cheddar
  • (you can mix it up by using
  • smoked cheddar if you like)
  • 4 leaves of wild garlic (chopped)
  • 4 medium sized leaves (with
  • stalks) of chard
  • 4 large organic eggs (as fresh as
  • possible)
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1. Peel, chop and boil the potatoes in salted water until very soft. Drain and return to the pan, replacing on the heat until dry. 2. Mash with 25g butter and a small splash milk. For smooth mash, rub through a sieve. Reheat with the cheese and wild garlic and the rest of the butter. Season with salt and pepper. The mash should be quite stiff, not sticky. 3. Separate the leaves and stalks of the chard. Chop the stalks into bite-sized pieces and boil in salted water. After two minutes, add the leaves. 4. After one minute drain the water away and add either a piece of butter or a splash of olive oil to the pan and stir the chard in it. Season with salt and pepper. 5. To poach the eggs, drop them one at a time into a small pan of barely simmering water that has a little cider vinegar added to it. After three seconds, stir once around the edge of the pan, making sure the spoon is touching the bottom, not just stirring the top of the water. This will give the egg a nice round shape. 6. Divide the aligot between two warm plates, place the chard next to it and place two poached eggs on top of each ball of mash. Put a little melted butter and black pepper over the eggs and enjoy.
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Wild garlic is abundant right now? February? Where is that?

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