Swiss rösti was originally a breakfast dish of peasants. Today, it served all over the world not just for breakfast but as a lunch or dinner side dish too.
There is no singular formula for cooking exceptionally good Swiss rösti. Cooks are divided as to whether floury or waxy potatoes are best, if parboiling before grating yields better results and whether the grated potatoes should be fried in butter or duck fat.
I’ve tried every possible combination and decided that what works best for me is this:
- Use waxy potatoes
- Parboil the potatoes before grating
- Use butter to fry the potatoes. Duck fat might yield a rösti with a crispier surface but there’s nothing like the flavor and aroma of butter.
Waxy potatoes are scrubbed and rinsed then boiled unpeeled. We’re not making mashed potatoes here so the potatoes are removed from the hot water before they turn too soft. Pierce a potato and if the knife goes through but offers resistance near the center, scoop the the potatoes out and cool. Peel and grate.
Melt butter in a frying pan, spread the grated potatoes and cook until the underside is browned and crisp. Flip and cook the opposite side until browned and crisp as well.
And the rosti can be served at this point. Crisp outside and creamy inside, it’s a beautiful side dish that can be paired with chicken, meat or seafood. But if you want to turn rosti into a full meal, make a salad with it.
Full recipe below
- 200 grams waxy potatoes
- 1 tablespoon rock salt
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 2 large tomatoes - cored and diced
- chopped ham - as much as you like
- crumbled feta - as much as you like
- chopped parsley - to garnish (optional)
Cook the rosti
- Rinse and scrub the potatoes well.
- Place the potatoes in a pan. Cover with water. Add the salt. Bring to the boil.
- Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes (less if the potatoes are small). Tip: When pierced with a knife, the center of the potatoes should still be firm and offer resistance.
- Drain the potatoes and cool to room temperature.
- Peel the potatoes then grate coarsely. Divide into two portions.
- Over medium heat, melt two tablespoons of butter in a frying pan.
- Spread half of the grated potatoes on the bottom of the pan. Cook until the underside is browned and crisp.
- Using a wide spatula, flip the rosti to brown the opposite side.
- Repeat the last two steps to cook the remaining half of grated potatoes.
Assemble the salad
- Place each rosti on a plate.
- Top with diced tomatoes, chopped ham and crumbled feta.
- Optionally, sprinkle with parsley before serving.