Back in July when I was bumming around Berlin and checking out nearly every vegan restaurant in the city, one dish in particular jumped out as the star of my culinary samplings: the “potato rösti over beet mash topped with green beans and bread chips” dish at CHIPPS (believe me, its German name was no prettier or more elegant). Ever since I came back, I’ve been trying to recreate it at home, and this past weekend I think I finally nailed it, or at least made something that I’m really happy with.
The hardest part was figuring out how to make the perfect potato rösti. As per the Swiss technique, I started by parboiling lots of halved Yukon gold potatoes, and then refrigerated them overnight. The following morning, I took the potatoes out of the fridge and grated them, and then simply formed my big pile of grated potatoes into small, burger-sized patties. You wouldn’t expect it, but with the right potatoes you actually don’t need any additional binder—these patties will hold together all on their own (which I suppose must have something to do with the potatoes’ natural starchiness). Following this, I fried the patties in a generous amount of coconut oil (canola oil would work as well), adding more whenever the pan got too dry. This I think was the most important step, or at least the step that was tripping me up the most in the past. Your rösti will need to fry for a long time (up to ten minutes per side, and possibly longer if you make them bigger than I did), and you need a lot of oil for the frying to work correctly.
I paired my rösti with a simple mash of beets and blue potatoes, and topped it off with some blanched green beans, some grated carrots, and a lightly toasted piece of my recently baked focaccia bread. The result was a fairly fancy dish (by my standards) which tasted exactly as it should: earthy, hearty, and delicious. But I was most impressed by how little I had to season everything: aside from some salt and pepper in the beet mash and the basil and rosemary that went on the focaccia, no other spices or herbs were used. This dish just lets the natural flavor and goodness of each of the vegetables shine through, which is exactly how I like to keep things.
Anyway, you should try making potato rösti for yourself sometime! (And if you’re looking for some more specific instructions, these were the ones I was looking at.) It’s really not that difficult, and it’s a great way to use the potatoes that are in season right now—and, with just a few simple touches, it can be made into a fancy dinner party entree. Enjoy!
Until we eat again,