Like potatoes but want to try something new? Think Switzerland, think rösti. This is a tasty, fried treat, so the sort of thing that you would want to eat at the end of a long day hiking in the mountains and dancing around Alpine meadows.
This is a traditional Swiss dish, which was originally eaten for breakfast (lots of calories, see above re hiking and spending all day in the fresh Alpine air) and you can see why this would be the perfect thing to set you up for the day. Nowadays, each region has its own version, but in my view, the buttery Zürich version is best of all. This is often eaten with a not-too-sweet applesauce, but I like it with a dollop of mayonnaise. I also like to have it with a fresh green salad with a sharp dressing, to balance the richness of the rösti.
This recipe is simplicity itself – just take some coarsely grated cooked potatoes, mix with a few sliced onions(*), fry in butter until golden, then flip over to cook the other side. These are a little like hash browns, but rather than solid blocks of potato, you grate them so there are lots of individual crispy strands at the edges. You could use vegetable oil if you are looking for a healthier dish, but I love the taste of butter when you make these. The one thing to be careful about is the potato you use – look for waxy potatoes, as they are easier to grate, whereas floury potatoes will collapse and turn to mush. Just as tasty when fried in butter, but the finished rösti isn’t nearly so appealing.
(*) I use onion in mine as I love their flavour, but you don’t have to. If someone in your house doesn’t like them, then omit them, rather than be faced, as I was, with a request to “pick the bits of onion out of the potatoes” once I had mixed them with the onion.
To make 2 large rösti (serves 4):
• 1kg boiled potatoes, peeled (ideally a waxy variety)
• 1 white onion, peeled
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 50g butter
Grate the potatoes using a coarse grater. Cut the onions in half, then slice very thinly. In a bowl, combine the potatoes, onions, salt and pepper, and combine gently using your hands.
Melt half the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add half the potatoes and cook until golden, then flip over and cook on the other side. Once done, cook the rest of the potatoes (or do two at the same time).
Worth making? This is a super easy recipe, and tastes delicious. A good one for every cook’s repertoire!