Blood oranges, miso mushrooms, and a first try at potato farls

It's been a really mild winter in London this year, but I'd be lying if I said I'm not glad to see the first signs of spring coming to my kitchen.

Blood oranges are now in season, and they're a really welcome addition to regular fruit rotation. There's something really heartening about slicing open the orange and seeing that phenomenal burst of colour in front of you. So pretty.

But while I'm waiting for the rest of the spring fruit and veg to turn up, I'm going to indulge in some hearty winter cuisine with a bit of a carb overload. 

I decided that it was high time I made my first batch of potato farls (or tattie scones, depending on which bit of the world you're from). I used to eat them in my pregan days, but stopped as the readymade versions all seem to have weird and possibly non-herbivorous additives in.

Given how easy potato farls are to make, why I left it so long to cook some up at home I don't know. You have to imagine me slapping my forehead with my palm at this point for appropriate levels of exasperation. 

I started my farl-based experiments with a recipe on the Guardian appropriately entitled 'How to make the perfect potato farls'. The recipe's not vegan, but it's very easily veganisable. You could pretty much sum it up as: take some mashed potato, add some flour til you get a dough, roll out, fry for a bit. 

Once you've done that, you get these beauties:

They're so delicious and so simple to make, and they'll definitely be figuring in more of my breakfasts from now on. I reckon a few fried mushrooms and grilled tomatoes, baked beans or your favourite tofu scramble, and you'd pretty much be making the best breakfast I could think of. (Avocado too, you say? I like your style.)

And talking of mushrooms - since I started getting a veg box scheme, fungi has been making an increasingly frequent appearance in my kitchen. Don't get me wrong, I love mushrooms, but Mr Flicking the Vs hates them. He maintains they have the texture of earlobes and refuses to eat them in any form (mushrooms, that is, not earlobes, though presumably those too).  I haven't really tended to buy mushies for that reason in the past, but thanks to the box scheme sending them regularly, I've been tucking in.

My favourite new thing to do with them is miso marinated carapaccio - the recipe's on Serious Eats, from a series they did on vegan recipes by a guy who'd gone vegan for a month. The recipe's delicious, but beware, there's a lot of 'wow, gee, vegan food can taste good, wow, it's not all lentils, gee'.

That grating nonsense aside, the carpaccio's great. The mushrooms have to left to marinate in miso, soy, sugar, lemon juice, and oil overnight, and then baked. It's worth the forward planning, as the fine, deep, dark result is definitely worth your patience.

I've been turning to it as a brunch staple recently - English muffin, shredded lettuce, smashed avocado and miso mushrooms. It's heaven in two slices of bread.

Of course, I can't finish off a post without a shot of some cake I've been stuffing down my gullet, and this week is no exception.

After meandering around Shoreditch for a while at the weekend, we wandered into the food hall at the old Truman Brewery. There's a fair few good things to try there for vegans, including an Ethiopian stall, but I was immediately drawn to the Essential Vegan stall, piled high with plant-based cakes, biscuits and other sweet treats.

Despite the chocolate eclair calling to me rather forcefully, I took home a bounty cake (that's chocolate and coconut to you and me) and a slice of chocolate and pistachio. It got a bit mashed up on the way home, but luckily there was no damage done to the rather awesome taste. The glaze was fab - sticky and chocolately - and the pistacho underlayer (is that a word?) was a grown up treat. If you're in the region of Essential Vegan, get yourself down there and you won't be disappointed.


  1. I love potato scones - we used to buy them in Scotland but you can't buy them in Australia so I was pleased to discover just how easy they are! I sometimes add leftover quinoa and that is really yummy. I am less keen on mushrooms but they sometimes do it for me and I really want to love those miso mushies! Maybe with lots of potato scones. And I always love good chocolate cake!

  2. I love potatoes in any form — but pancakes are at the top of the list. I've only made them with raw potatoes, not mashed, and with only a touch of flour. Potato scones sound like something I'd really like. As for mushrooms — yes, yes, yes! Your recipe defintely sounds like it's worth the effort of advance planning. Thanks for the links.

  3. Love marinated mushrooms, I like to use them as a sushi filling. Those potato farls look amazing! I've never thought of making them. Did you know the Ready made Rankin ones you can get in Tesco and on Ocado are vegan though I'm sure homemade are even nicer.

  4. Thanks for your easy potato farl recipe! They look great. The cake also looks great :D

  5. Beautiful, beautiful blood orange. The farl looks fantastic as well! And a fun name.

  6. oh those potato farls! hmmm, I made some quite a while ago. Thanks for reminding me of them again! I've run out of potatoes (I panic every time this happens!) otherwise this would have been my breakfast for tomorrow. I absolutely love mushrooms, I think I couldn't live without them now. Miso marinade sounds so delicious, I've never tried this before.

  7. Oh my god those potato farls and English muffin with mushrooms look delicious :)

  8. Mashed potatoes in any form is always a win, with the simple recipe, it goes to the top of the list. The marinated mushroom english muffin looks so good, I wouldn't mind tucking into that every morning. :-)

  9. I have never heard of a farl, but that sounds like I need it in my life. That cake wouldn't hurt either!

  10. I love farls and Essential Vegan - this post's making me miss home a little bit!

  11. First time in my life that I've ever heard the word farl as a real word. But I want one now!


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