Rösti is a traditional Swiss-German food, so traditional in fact that the border between the French and German speaking cantons in Switzerland is referred to as the Rösti border. It is a dish of potatoes, parboiled then fried or baked, with cheese and sometimes onion. It is often served with ham and a fried egg on top, referred to the skier's plate, and comes with a pickle or two and maybe a slice of tomato.
I have grown up with rösti. It is filling, warming on a ski-day, tasty, fulfilling... Or almost. It always leaves me not quite satisfied. The stodge of pure carbs and fat leaves me looking for the veg and feeling heavy, and it often is very greasy. This dissatisfaction led me to tinker a bit with tradition, and this, or variants of this, is the result. It is never quite the same twice as it depends what I have on hand (in this case fresh beetroots from a local farmer, some of the tastiest and most flavourful I've ever had). Traditional with a twist.
2 large potatoes
1 large beetroot
2 courgettes (or zucchini depending on where you're from)
3 medium carrots
1 large(ish) onion
2 handfuls of spinach
100g mature cheese (given where I live this tends to be L'Etivaz or Gruyère)
1 egg per person
1) Parboil your potatoes and beetroot. You want them to be almost cooked through, but not so soft that they turn to mush in the oven. Preheat oven to 210°C.
2) Grate your potatoes, beetroot, carrots, courgettes, and cheese. Cube your bacon and slice your onion into rings. Cube one tomato, slice the other one into rings.
3) Grease an oven-proof dish with butter of lard - your choice. If you really must, then use olive oil, but don't eliminate the fat entirely, it is necessary to some extent.
4) Mix together all of the ingredients except the sliced tomato and a few slices of onion, and a handful of cheese. Place mix in the dish, and fluff is with a spoon. Sprinkle the extra cheese over the top and place the tomato and onion rings on the surface. If your grated mixture was a little dry, dot the top with a small amount of butter.
5) Bake uncovered for about 40-45 minutes until the cheese is melted and there is some crisping around the edges. Fry an egg, leaving the egg yolk runny and place one on top of each portion (season your fried egg however you wish. Red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, thyme, It is up to you). Serve hot with a salad.
Results? I find this take on the traditional dish infinitely more satisfying. Minimal grease, and reduced carbs. There is veg in every bite and while retaining its traditional essence, it is lighter and more satisfying while still being filling and hitting the rösti spot. It remains a dish for a cool day, but being lighter and more veg leaning rather than stodgy, you can get away with it in the summer.
I have started this blog off with this recipe at the request of a friend (Swisscleo.wixsite.com) :)