Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Rösti - two ways

1. Rösti with smoked salmon, avocado & dill crème fraîche

2. Rösti cakes with bacon, fried egg & roasted cherry tomatoes

Having recently visited Bad Wiessee, a picturesque Bavarian town at the foot of the Alps, I have developed a keen interest in not only hearty Bavarian cuisine, but also an incredibly simple and delicious Alpine favourite, rösti. As Felicity Cloake confirms here, it is not as easy as you might think to track down a universal recipe for this golden, crispy Swiss cuisine.

Having trawled the internet searching for the right recipe, I called upon my boyfriends Aunt, Margret, a German living in Switzerland, who kindly passed on her very own rösti recipe. Some grate the potatoes raw, some par-boil, some even chill the potatoes overnight to get the right texture. I followed this recipe with great and delicious success, merely adding one important fact - the need for the right sized non-stick pan. 

We used the rösti as an enabler for brunch. One is the British style full English Breakfast with bacon, eggs and roasted tomatoes using random, crispy splashes of rösti; the other a lighter and tangier combination of avocado slices, smoked salmon and a dill creme fraîche on a pillowy bed of rösti with crispy edges and a centre of supremely flavoured potato slivers. Think hash browns with added flavour, bigger and Alpine style. What's not to love?

Notes to take into account - use waxy potatoes rather than floury ones. Waxy potatoes such as Jersey Royal, Charlotte Potatoes and Pink Fir Apples are ideal. Smaller potatoes are generally waxier than the large floury potatoes used for mash and baking. If you want to make the large, full rösti used here with smoked salmon, make sure you have a small, very non-stick frying pan to make life easier for yourself. A large non-stick will be better for the small, crispy rösti cakes as you can flip these individually without them coming apart.

1. Rösti with smoked salmon, avocado & dill crème fraîche

2. Rösti cakes with bacon, fried egg & roasted cherry tomatoes

Quantities: Serves 2-4 - amend extras depending on how many people your'e serving

Timings: 45 minutes

Kitchen stuff: small non-stick pan, teardrop grater, large saucepan



1kg waxy potatoes
1/2 tsp sea salt plus extra for salting water
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 tbsp vegetable oil
30g butter

For Salmon option:

60-100g smoked Salmon 
100g crème fraîche
2tsp finely chopped fresh dill
Half a lemon (lengthways, cut into three wedges)
pinch of salt and pepper

For Bacon option:

1-2 eggs, fried
2-4 smoked bacon rashers, fried until crisp
100g vine cherry tomatoes, roasted


1. BOIL TATERS: Wash potatoes & put in a pan with lots of salted boiling water. Bring to the boil and then boil for 10 minutes. Drain the potatoes and plunge them into very cold water. Leave to cool for 10-15 minutes in the fridge. Whilst your potatoes are cooling, finely chop your shallots. 

2. GRATE TATERS: When your potatoes are slightly cooled, grate them using a large teardrop grater into a mixing bowl with the chopped shallots & 1/2 tsp sea salt. 

If you want to make roasted cherry tomatoes, preheat your oven to 200 degrees C now. 

3. FRY TATERS: To make the large rösti cake (as seen below & in photos with the smoked salmon), heat half the oil and butter in a small non-stick pan. When the butter has melted, add half the potato mixture and press it down firmly with a spatula to form a cake. Fry it on a medium heat until crispy and golden, 5 to 10 minutes. Check by gently lifting the edge of the rösti with your spatula. Make sure the rösti isn't sticking to the pan. Place a plate on top of the pan and, holding the plate firmly against the pan, gently turn the pan over, so the rösti lands on the plate crispy side up (this is why non-stick is important). Put a little extra butter in the pan and gently slide the rösti back into the pan and fry until the underside is golden brown and crisp.

To make the slightly more random splashes of rösti, take a larger non-stick frying pan (you can use the same pan you've fried your bacon in) and add the remaining vegetable oil and butter. When melted, add about 2 tbsp potato mix per cake and press down with your spatula to flatten into a cake. You can make 2 or 3 at a time, and fry until crisp on the bottom before gently flipping with your spatula, then continue to fry until both sides are golden.

4. SERVE: Serve the large rösti with smoked salmon, sliced avocado and dill crème fraîche. To make the dill crème fraîche, mix 2 tsp finely chopped dill with the crème fraîche, add salt, pepper and squeeze from a wedge of lemon. 

Serve the smaller, crispy rösti with crispy bacon, roasted cherry tomatoes and a fried egg. To roast your tomatoes, pop them on a baking tray in a preheated 200 degree C oven for 10 minutes or so, until soft and wilting.