This recipe comes to me from my friend Jonny Bruce, who remembers eating these farls on childhood trips to Ireland. These farls are great for a weekend brunch – just add sausages, roasted tomatoes and a poached or fried egg to create your own container garden big breakfast. They are also perfect with a few shavings of strong Cheddar. If you don’t want to make all the farls at once, the dough will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Alternatively, you can reheat cooked farls in the toaster.


  • 250g Floury potatoes or use roughly 200g leftover mashed potatoes
  • 200g Parsnips weight after you have topped and tailed/trimmed and peeled them
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 2tbsp Dill chopped
  • 2tbsp Flat-leaf parsley chopped
  • 50g Plain flour plus extra for dusting
  • Salt and pepper


  • STEP 1

    Scrub and roughly chop and the potatoes. (I never peel potatoes for mashing – life is too short.) Put the potatoes and parsnips into a large pan of salted water, bring to a boil and cook until tender – about 20 minutes. Drain the vegetables, leaving them in the colander until the steam has died down and they are properly dried. Tip them back into the empty pan and mash with the butter. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add the herbs, then sift in the flour and mix with a wooden spoon to form a rough dough.

  • STEP 2

    Lightly flour a work surface. Take one-third of the dough and knead it lightly into a ball, then use the heel of your hand to press it into a 13cm/ disc that is just under 1cm hick. It’s important to keep the work surface well-floured as the mixture can be sticky.

  • STEP 3

    Heat a non-stick frying pan or griddle over medium heat. Slide in the potato cake (you do not need to add any oil or butter) and cook for 2½–3 minutes until golden brown underneath, then flip over and cook for another 2½–3 minutes. The farl will start to puff up slightly when they’re done. Cut the farl into four with a spatula (the word ‘farl’ comes from the Gaelic word for ‘four’, according to Jonny) and keep warm in a low oven. Repeat with the remaining dough.

  • STEP 4

    Serve with roasted tomatoes, fried eggs and sausages (or leave out the sausages for a vegetarian version). You could also add other vegetables from your container garden, for example some wilted spinach, or peppers added in with the tomatoes when roasting.

This recipe is taken from Grow Fruit & Vegetables in Pots by Aaron Bertelsen (Phaidon, £29.95).


Having studied at Kew Gardens and spent two years at Jerusalem Botanical Gardens in Israel, Aaron Bertelsen is now vegetable gardener and cook at Great Dixter. His book, The Great Dixter Cookbook was published in March 2017.