Potato and Ham Cakes with Arugula Pesto

I know that technically it’s been Spring for a while now but honestly, I’ve just barely started to get into the seasonal spirit of it all. I love this time of year because it’s finally not too cold, and it’s just before it becomes unbearably hot. It makes cooking fun, what can I say? These Potato and Ham Cakes with Arugula Pesto scream springtime! The best part is that they’re versatile and can be made with leftovers. They’re easily adaptable and can be varied with whatever you have on hand or what your tastes dictate. Serve them as an appetizer, a snack, a side or even the main event, star of the show. Either way, just do me a favor and make it! Also, these cakes remind me of another springtime recipe that is similar, these pea fritters.

Dice the potatoes and place in a large pot. Fill with cold water and season liberally with salt. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Cook until fork tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.

**Note: You can also just use leftover mashed potatoes instead, if you happen to have a bunch from the night before. Or you can plan ahead and make a double batch of mashed potatoes and use it as a double duty!**

To make the pesto, place the arugula, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan, a large pinch of salt and pepper and lemon juice in a food processor. Pulse a few times until chopped through. While the machine is running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the pesto is smooth and creamy. Give it a taste and adjust seasoning accordingly, adding more salt or pepper as needed.

**Tip: This can be made a few days in advance and kept in the fridge for several days. It’s great for this recipe but would be delicious in so many others as well. Use as a spread for sandwiches or thin it out as a dressing for salads or toss with pasta!**

Drain and transfer the potatoes to a large bowl, and allow to cool slightly.

**Note: You don’t want the potatoes to be scorching hot or else the egg and cheese you add later on will “cook” into the potatoes and we don’t want that.**

Mash with a potato masher until somewhat smooth. Stir in the mustard, chives, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, granulated garlic, onion, and paprika and mix until smooth. 

Stir in the ham, cheese and peas. With damp hands, form the mixture into 12 even patties, about 1-inch thick. Place the flour on a shallow dish and set aside.

Set a large baking skillet over medium heat with about an inch of oil. Allow to get hot. Meanwhile, dust both sides of the potato cakes with the flour and place a few at a time into the hot oil. Cook until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side.

Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and continue frying the rest. Transfer to a wire rack, set over a baking sheet, and keep warm in a 250°F oven while you continue to fry the rest of the potato cakes.

These are great by themselves with fresh lemon wedges on the side for squeezing and of course, the pesto from earlier.

They’re great as an appetizer (you can even make them smaller bite size cakes) or they’d be great as a side dish or even as the main event with a simple arugula (or mixed greens) salad.

If making the salad, in a large bowl, toss together the arugula, olive oil, vinegar, a small pinch of salt and pepper, parmesan and pine nuts until evenly combined.

Serve the potato cakes warm with the salad on the side, a drizzle of the pesto on top and a lemon wedge on the side. Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge and then rewarmed the next day.

I really do hope you’ll give these potato cakes a try. They’re a great springtime recipe packed with flavor. The pesto alone is worth its weight in gold. You won’t be able to get enough. Let me know what you think below and as always, thank you so much for reading and following along.

Potato and Ham Cakes with Arugula Pesto

Potato and Ham Cakes with Arugula Pesto

These Potato and Ham Cakes with Arugula Pesto are a great Springtime meal or appetizer that can be whipped up with leftovers!
Servings 6
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins

Equipment

  • Pot
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Potato masher
  • skillet

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten
  • Kosher salt and coarse black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup cubed cooked ham
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas thawed
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Pesto:

  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt and coarse black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Salad (optional):

  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and coarse black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • Lemon wedges for serving

Instructions

  • Dice the potatoes and place in a large pot. Fill with cold water and season liberally with salt. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Cook until fork tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Allow to cool slightly.
  • Mash with a potato masher until somewhat smooth. Stir in the mustard, chives, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, granulated garlic, onion, and paprika and mix until smooth. Stir in the ham, cheese and peas. With damp hands, form the mixture into 12 even patties, about 1-inch thick. Place the flour on a shallow dish and set aside.
  • Set a large baking skillet over medium heat with about an inch of oil. Allow to get hot. Meanwhile, dust both sides of the potato cakes with the flour and place a few at a time into the hot oil. Cook until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and continue frying the rest. Keep warm in a 250°F oven.
  • To make the pesto, place the arugula, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan, a large pinch of salt and pepper and lemon juice in a food processor. Pulse a few times until chopped through. While the machine is running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the pesto is smooth and creamy. Give it a taste and adjust seasoning accordingly, adding more salt or pepper as needed.
  • If making the salad, in a large bowl, toss together the arugula, olive oil, vinegar, a small pinch of salt and pepper, parmesan and pine nuts until evenly combined.
  • Serve the potato cakes warm with the salad on the side, a drizzle of the pesto on top and a lemon wedge on the side. Enjoy!

Notes

Adapted from Delicious.com
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Appetizer, Dinner, Leftovers, Potato

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