Sweet potato patties with greens, and magic five-minute gravy

On Sunday, after an evening in which I’d discovered that alcohol is a very good painkiller for my bruised/cracked ribs, I made a veggie toad in the hole. It wasn’t brilliant. I’m good at Yorkshire puddings, but I’ve never perfected toad in the hole. I served it with broad beans and peas from my allotment, potato and sweet-potato mash, and my delicious five-minute gravy. Usually I cook it for longer than five minutes, but I forgot until five minutes from the end. Here’s the gravy recipe:


  • An onion if you have one. I didn’t so I used a spring onion.
  • Some boiling water
  • A veggie stock cube if you have one (I didn’t)
  • Marmite
  • Soy sauce
  • Red wine if you have it
  • White flour


  • Fry the onion until it sizzles
  • Add boiling water (according to how much gravy you want)
  • Add a heaped teaspoonful of marmite, and a few splashes of soy sauce
  • Add some red wine if you have it

The important thing is the high heat. Cook for as long as you can spare – I had five minutes – and then take a teaspoon of flour, dissolve it in *cold* water (not hot, it goes claggy), and whisk it into the gravy. Leave for a couple of minutes. If it doesn’t thicken, add a bit more flour paste. I prefer using regular flour to cornflour, though you have to whisk hard to prevent lumps.

That’s it.

That night, I prepared my lunch, as I was going to spend the day in the studio the next day. I had leftover sweet potato mash, leftover broad beans and peas, and a ton of spinach and chard that I’d picked from the allotment that morning with my six-year-old niece. So here are my Leftover Patties.


  • half a pan-ful of cold mash
  • a stick of celery
  • steamed chard and spinach
  • some frozen sweetcorn, boiled for a couple of minutes
  • semolina


  • Fry the celery. I added a fresh chilli and some smoked paprika, because I felt like it.
  • Meanwhile steam the chard and spinach for a few minutes, which I had scissored into ribbons, and boil the sweetcorn.
  • When all is cooked, mix it with the mash, either in the pan or in a bowl if you’re fancy.
  • Sprinkle a good amount of semolina on a chopping board, and make patties in your hands, then coat them in semolina.
  • Fry the patties in oil, at a pretty low heat, until they look done.

I served them with yet more steamed greens, the leftover asparagus and, though I’d like to say that I made a handmade mango and fresh tomato salsa, or a salsa verde, or a mint coconut chutney, I didn’t. I had them with salad cream which I “borrowed” from our communal fridge. (Borrowing is tolerated, or so thinks the person who nicked all my butter.)



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