Potato Rösti with Salad and Lemon Vinaigrette

Rösti has become a rather difficult thing to find in the restaurants and cafes of Britain. One could argue that the hash brown is a fairly common solution to this problem. However, there is something about the hash brown that screams ‘English fry-up’- it has not the class of the rather more delicate Swiss Rösti. I can almost smell the sense of disbelief in the fact that you have just witnessed me, a relatively staunch British traditionalist, at least when it comes to food, bash one of our own. However, what you must realise is that most traditional British food is part of a truly great culinary tradition and that I’m more than happy to bash what I perceive to be inferior. Perhaps I shall have to attempt to reinvent the hash brown – now there’s an idea.

Aside from the delicacy and brilliance of the Rösti, it also fits in with my frugal tendencies rather well. There is but one ingredient in the perfect Rösti; potato. Is not the humble potato simply the most incredible ingredient? It has single-handedly sustained entire nations, it can be fried, baked, boiled, grated, mashed, sliced and –shudder– powdered. Yet, despite all of this, it is incredibly underrated. For some reason people find them boring and plain, which is no doubt a result of them having no idea what to do with the king of tuberous crop. Moreover, potatoes are also a really healthy means by which one can gain all sorts of vitamins and minerals. They contain high levels of vitamin-C and Potassium as well as a full complement of other necessaries – albeit in small amounts. Indeed, it irritates me a little that despite the obvious health benefits of the potato, the NHS does not consider them to be part of our recommended 5-a-day.

Potato Rösti with Salad and Lemon Vinaigrette

Serves 2

Ingredients:

• 370g potatoes, peeled and grated

• Salt and Pepper

• Olive Oil

• 1 baby-gem lettuce, or an equivalent

• A handful of rocket or baby water-cress

• The juice of 1 lemon

• ½ tsp English or Dijon mustard

• A few good glugs of olive oil

• ½ tsp sugar

• A little grated parmesan cheese

Method:

1. Place your grated potato in a clean tea-towel and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Remove the potato, season well and shape into two equally sized potato pancakes 1.5-2cm thick. Heat up a generous amount of olive oil in a thick frying pan or griddle. Once the oil is fairly hot place each pancake into the pan. Cook on each side, over a medium heat, for 10 minutes. The Rösti is done when it is golden brown all over.

2. While the Rösti is cooking prepare your salad and vinaigrette. Chop the crunchy baby-gem rather thinly, removing any of the hard core – it can be a little bitter. Place this neatly on your plate before adding a little rocket or watercress. To make the vinaigrette simple mix the lemon juice, mustard, olive oil and sugar together. Drizzle this over the salad before place the Rösti on top. Garnish with a small amount of parmesan cheese.

Cost: Not one ingredient in this dish was particularly expensive. The Rösti themselves set me back a mere 20p; the salad, perhaps 50-60p; and the vinaigrette, a mere 25p. As such, when everything has been factored in this lunch for two should set one back little over £1. Not bad for something so pretty.

106 thoughts on “Potato Rösti with Salad and Lemon Vinaigrette

  1. rachsmith

    What a delicious, and wonderfully frugal meal!

    The rösti is an underrated form of potato. I’m guilty for not giving it enough air time, but focusing my attention on mash and roasties. This is going to change. Thanks for the inspiration! x

  2. Kimby

    Your photo with the potatoes and sunlight ought to be snapped up by any potato grower with a mind to promote their product — simply stunning! I’m smiling over your “bashing” thoughts — you’d think it would be difficult to mess up a perfectly good potato, but the UK isn’t the only country that does it. I used to love “home fries” (aka American Fries) when we’d go out for breakfast, but the trend has been to convert them from the golden brown chunks of pan-fried goodness they were intended to be into an “easier” (i.e. faster/cheaper) version of “cubes” dunked in the deep fryer. Ugh. Thanks for a REAL potato recipe!

  3. Hari Covert

    I beg to differ on the cooking process. A true Swiss Rosti is not made with raw grated potato but is made from potatoes parboiled in their skins, peeled and then grated. Ideally potatoes that have chilled for a few hours as this allows the starch to rest. The addition of finely chopped raw onion and also some chopped bacon is also often used.
    The potato you describe is what is classically known as a pommes darphin.

    It is quite an art to make a proper Swiss Rosti as turning it is also like tossing a pancake!

    I have fond memories of a crisp Rosti served alongside a veal sausage with an onion gravy consumed in many a bahnhof buffet throughout Switzerland… A true Swiss staple

    It is also a family favourite topped with a slice of Ham, grated cheese that is melted and the addition of runny fried egg! A meal in itself!

    1. frugalfeeding

      I beg to differ about your begging to differ. There appear to be two schools of thought with regards to the cooking of rosti. There are Swiss chefs who cook rosti using my method too.

  4. otownmommy

    very true how you mention potatoes are considered to be boring and plain. I have been trying all different ways to prepare them for my girls and they still don’t like them. i have tried grating them and found that they became a gooey clump on the pan. I think I will follow your method more closely – yours look delicious and perfectly crisped!. thanks for posting this :)

  5. egg me on

    Whoa, thanks for clearing up the hash brown vs. rosti debate. As an un-informed American, I assumed they were the same thing. Now I know! This is a great recipe. I’m totally trying this.

  6. Cara

    I so enjoy how every time I come to your blog, you are always teaching me new things. This recipes is a definite keeper! I am going to taste test it possibly today, even :)

  7. The Dusty Baker

    Oh my GOODNESS my mouth is literally watering. I don’t eat hashbrowns quite enough because they are far inferior to this delectable looking Rosti. But as an American who has been to the British isles many times, I will say that I do love me a good fry-up. Always will have a sweet spot in my heart.

  8. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

    I’ve never made rosti before, but it was quite the rage in restaurants about twenty years ago. Since then, as you say, it seems to have disappeared. Thanks for the recipe, might be time to give it a go (we’re awash with potatoes at the moment). Look forward to reading about your reworked hash brown! :)

  9. Corina

    I had a few disasters when first making potato rostis but love them now l’ve got the hang of them. It’s so important tto squeeze out the extra water and to make sure they are cooked for long enough!

  10. promenadeplantings

    You are right about not seeing rosti as much as we should. A couple of questions, what kind of potatoes did you use? I always seem to stuggle with getting them to “stick” together, they always seem to fall apart on me !

  11. Veronika

    I have to say, that while I adore potatoes, and absolutely disagree about them being boring or plain, I can easily explain why NHS don’t want to consider them one of five-a-day (not that I agree with that specific principle either, but eh).

    First of all, while it is true that potatoes are rich in vitamin C, there is the fact that Vitamin C decomposes at temperatures above 45C, which means that cooked potatoes contain none of it. And, for all their culinary and mineral advantages, potatoes are essentially nearly 100% starch, which makes them an excellent way to gain weight – and the 5-a-day rule and other efforts currently made by health agencies around the world are trying to get people to lose weight.

    So while I agree that potatoes are gorgeous, and love eating them (and the rösti looks drool-inducing!), I can’t say they are any kind of health food. Which shouldn’t stop anyone from eating them – not even those trying to watch their weight. Just you know, do so in moderation. I, for one thing, consider eating potatoes a treat. ;)

    1. frugalfeeding

      I didn’t know vitamin C decomposes at 45C. However, potatoes are only around 15-20% starch. Surely it’s obvious to you that most of what makes up potatoes is water? Added to that, around 10% of that starch isn’t absorbed by the body (this number increases after cooking). Also, depending on how you cook potatoes, quite a lot of the starch is lost in the cooking process. Perhaps my NHS quip was a little reactionary and probably untrue, but potatoes are healthy if eaten in moderation – like most foods.

      1. Veronika

        Oh, of course – I meant the dry weight, thinking in food-biochemist terms here. And I did not say they weren’t healthy – just that they aren’t exactly spinach or collard greens in terms of their nutritional profile, and are, in fact, one of the highest-starch foods one can eat even so. Not saying there’s any hypocrisy here – I try to keep carbs down in my diet but often post about bread myself. ;)

        But that is not to detract from the unadulturated culinary joy of fried, roasted, or otherwise made potatoes, they are delicious! (And, yes, like all foods, have to be taken in moderation.)

  12. Savoring Simplicity

    You are so right. The underrated potato is one of the most versatile foods in the world. We sometimes use leftover mashed potatoes to make potato cakes for breakfast. I hope you enjoyed your rösti. It looks delicious in your wonderful photo.

  13. roughseasinthemed

    I was going to comment on the five a day fashion too. Nothing wrong with the quip either. But my explanation would be far simpler, a) people don’t eat enough fresh fruit and veg these days and b) if you told people they could eat potatoes they would imagine they had carte blanche to eat chips and crisps for their five/six portions a day – exactly what the govt is trying to avoid.

    I on the other hand don’t pay attention to dictatorial govts so makes no difference to me. Main meals in my home are carb-based, and that is usually potatoes, although not chipped. Although I’m not a rosti fan :D

    1. frugalfeeding

      Ahha, yes I suppose that’s true… Though, I disagree that that’s dictatorial – it’ in everyone’s interest for people to be more healthy. Perhaps suggestatorial would be a better, made up, word!

  14. realfunfood

    I love this … so I tried to make it (before I read your post) and I couldn’t figure out why it was all clumpy. I didn’t drain the potatoes so there was SO much water!!! So silly!

  15. tanyamhudson

    This looks so yummy! And your photographs are stunning. I’m currently limited to my iPhone for blog photos, so the quality’s a bit lacking. :) I’ll surely be returning here for inspiration!

      1. tanyamhudson

        I dug up my decade-old point-and-shoot (Canon A520, 4 megapixels) for my last post, and it actually worked pretty well! Not as fine an image quality as if I had a newer model to work with, but much better than the phone. Might get a nicer, newer model someday soon…

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