Saturday, 5 November 2011

Using Up Potatoes: Giant Rostis!

Every potato harvest inevitably comes with a few specimens damaged by sunlight, slugs, the fork that dug them up, or even by couchgrass roots, which burrowed a few holes through mine!

These should be separated from the undamaged potatoes and used first, as they're bound to go off sooner.

In an effort to use up our damaged spuds, of which we had really quite a few (and getting a little bored with mash) I thought I'd try to recreate a dish Eddie sampled in the fabulous veggie restaurant Terre a Terre recently:

(Disclaimer: My rosti may not be the same as/as good as Terre a Terre's, and certainly didn't look as good (theirs is pictured)... But it's still delish!) I altered it a bit to use up some watercress I had left over from something else, and it packs in even more flavour. Actually it's a really good dish to use up large amounts of spinach, watercress or any other similar leaf, as well as potatoes. You'll want at least 100g leaves per person and you could use much more if you wanted, so it's a good one for those bags/bunches of leaves the supermarkets and market stalls reduce at the end of the day too... It's a great, simple dish for one (though a bit of a juggling act if you're feeding a whole family) and a really tasty supper.

Giant Rostis with Watercress Sauce

  • Finely chop an onion and fry gently until really soft and golden, but not browned.
  • Grate around 200g potato per person, put it in a sieve or a clean tea towel and squeeze as much water out as you can.
  • Throw a couple of chopped garlic cloves in with the onion to soften.
  • Preheat your oven to 180C. 
  • Put the grated potato into a large bowl and season well. Add the chopped onion and garlic and gently combine (try not to break up or mash the potato too much!).
  • Divide the potato mixture into bowls - one per person. The shape of the bowls will shape the rostis.
  • Heat some oil in a non-stick frying pan, tip the first rosti in, and fry on a medium-high heat.
  • Once it is golden brown underneath, flip it over and do the other side. When that side is golden-brown too, put it on a large baking tray and do the next rosti...
  • When all your rostis are nicely browned, pop them in the oven to finish cooking in the middle while you make the sauce. (Maybe a more skilled or patient chef than I could cook them entirely in the frying pan, but because they're so big it seems to me they'd need this extra oven-time to cook right through.)
  • Meanwhile, wilt your leaves (100g-200g per person) down in a large saucepan with a knob of butter, salt and pepper, a splash of lemon juice and a little nutmeg. I used 2/3 watercress, 1/3 spinach, but you could use spinach only, or any combination really. I'm willing to bet chard, young kale, beetroot leaves, sorrel and any other similar leaf would work too (although sorrel really loses its colour when cooked so you might prefer to add it raw when pureeing).
  • When the leaves are cooked down, keep a couple of spoonsful aside for the garnish, and puree the rest (a wand-type blender is good for this). Add a spoonful or two of cream cheese (or a splash of cream and a little parmesan) and taste. Add more seasoning, cream/cheese or lemon juice if you so desire.
  • Poach (or soft-boil) your eggs.
  • When the rostis are done in the middle (ooh, about 15-25 minutes, depending how long you fried them for!), spread the sauce on each plate, top with a rosti, then a spoonful of wilted leaves, then a poached egg, and finally a generous handful of grated cheese!

To me this is great just as it is, but hardcore carnivores could be appeased with a sprinkling of crispy bacon bits or chopped ham. A nice piece of fish - especially smoked fish - would complement it very well too.

1 comment:

Sue@G.L. Allotments said...

Must admit I've never had a rosti as a main meal but with the addition of the egg and cheese it works!

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