Ground Elder & Potato Bake

Let’s talk about edible weeds. Last year, I share my recipe for soup made with ground elder – an incredibly invasive plant that is notoriously difficult to remove but actually used to be cultivated as a vegetable and was introduced to Britain by the Romans as a food staple. As I mentioned before, it’s quite rampant in our large shared garden, so we don’t need to go very far to forage for any. As well as being great for soup, you can also use it much like spinach in other recipes, so today I experimented with it to make a ground elder & potato bake, as we had some potatoes that needed using up. The result – delicious! Everyone, including both kids, just gobbled it up. Job done.


(serves 4)

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large shallots
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 700g potatoes
  • 120g ground elder leaves
  • 6 eggs
  • 60ml cream
  • 50g finely grated Parmesan
  • 80g grated cheddar
  • salt & pepper

NOTE: If you don’t have access to ground elder, you can also make this dish with spinach as a substitute instead. Just prepare the spinach in the same way as the ground elder in the recipe.


Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan or deep frying pan. Peel and finely chop the shallots, add to the pan and cook on a low heat for around 5 minutes until they start to soften.

Peel the garlic and mince or grate it, add to the shallots with a pinch of salt and cook for another minute, being careful not to let the garlic burn. Remove the garlicky shallots from the pan and set aside.

Peel the potatoes and cut in the slices – depending how big the potatoes are, you may want to cut them in half first before slicing.

Add another tablespoon to the pan turn the heat up to medium. Add the sliced potatoes, a pinch of salt and some black pepper. Cook until the potatoes have softened, this will take around 10 – 15 minutes. NOTE: You can also speed up this step, by pre-cooking the potatoes in the microwave for 5-6 minutes (turning once half way through) while you are preparing the shallots. Then you’ll only need to cook them for half the time in the pan.

Wash the ground elder leaves, drain, and chop. I try to chop them fairly finely, the same as I do with spinach, as I know my kids don’t like it when the wilted leaves ” go stringy” (their words, not mine), but roughly chopping them will also do.

Once the potatoes have cooked through and softened, add the shallot mixture back in, along with the ground elder leaves, and stir everything together until the ground elder leaves have wilted. Then transfer everything to an oven proof baking dish.

Set your oven to heat to 200 C, or 180 C for a fan oven.

Whisk the 6 eggs, together with the cream, finely grated Parmesan, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the potato mixture in the baking dish. Sprinkle the grated cheddar on top.

Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes until the egg mixture is set and the cheddar topping is started to turn golden brown.

Just on its own, this wouldn’t have been enough for dinner, even though each of us got a generous slice. We served it with some steam broccoli, and a big mixed side salad. My youngest doesn’t like salad with dressing, so I just chopped him up some of his favourite raw veg (cucumber, tomato, red pepper) as a side dish instead.

What does Ground Elder look like?

Ground Elder is a very common and widespread plant that favours shady locations and is often found in gardens. It’s a perennial plants, which means it grows back every year and spreads rapidly through underground rhizomes. Ground Elder leaves are recognisable by their arrangement in groups of three. The leaves are broad and toothed, and the plant’s stems are hollow. In summer, it grows umbels (umbrella shaped clusters) of small white flowers.The name “Ground Elder” comes from the superficial similarity of its leaves and flowers to those of the elder tree, and it’s also known as “Goutweed” due to being used as a medicinal plant to treat gout. If you have Ground Elder in your garden, you probably know all about it. But as with all foraging if in doubt, leave it out!

Post a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.