Growing our own potatoes has been another first for us this year. We started early in the season “chitting” our seed potatoes on windowsills in our flat until they were growing little knobbly bits and ready to plant out at the first opportunity. We waited with bated breath as I worried that perhaps I’d jumped the gun and planted them too early, but the hardy little seedlings eventually poked through the soil. We’ve been growing a combination of first and second earlies as well as maincrop varieties to stagger our harvests through the season, and also a mixture of waxy and floury types for a bit of variation in the kitchen. Our first early variety is Foremost, a waxy type, our second earlies are waxy Maris Peers, and we chose a classic floury King Edward for our maincrop variety which have a lovely pink blush to them.
One of the surprises of growing potatoes for me has been how striking their flowers are! Their star-shaped blooms are fairly small and can be purple or white with a yellow centre that brings some colour to our plot. New potatoes can be harvested once the flowers bloom, whereas mature potatoes want to be in the ground a little longer, especially if you want them to last a fair while in storage. Usually the advice is to leave them until the plants die back and give them some time for their skins to thicken or “cure” so that they will last well.
Aside from the obvious roast potatoes, homemade rösti are what I’ve been most excited about making with our homegrown spuds. They are deceptively simple to make, incredibly versatile, and most of all they are delicious! There are many recipes out there which vary in how complex they are, but I’ve kept the fuss to a minimum, because really it’s not all necessary for a yummy rösti. I do still parboil and chill the potatoes before grating though, but I think it’s worth it for the texture you get in the end. Also, if you have a food processor with a grater attachment, it’s going to be your friend here. If not, don’t worry the traditional method is just fine, your fingers might just get a bit sticky.
When it comes to toppings, be creative! For the photos in this post I sautéed some chanterelle mushrooms in butter with marsh samphire and served them on top of my freshly cooked rösti with a sprinkling of chopped, fresh sage and a dollop of soured cream. You could serve yours with some wilted greens like spinach or chard with a fried or poached egg and a bit of grated cheddar or parmesan. Smoked salmon with crème fraîche makes a nice lunch, or you could create a brunch with bacon, egg and tomatoes. You don’t necessarily have to think of them as something that needs toppings, you could have them as a side to a good old fry up, or some delicious fresh fish like cod or sea bass. You could even shake things up a little and have them on their own seasoned with a bit of salt and sprinkled with a yummy spice mix of toasted cumin and chilli powder, or with a homemade chutney and some ham.
Potato Rösti Recipe
Makes about 4 small rösti
- 250g waxy potatoes like Charlotte, Anya, or Maris Peer (not to be confused with Maris Piper which is a floury potato)
- Generous pinch salt
- Parboil the potatoes for about 5 minutes and then cool completely. Chill your parboiled potatoes before grating.
- Add knob of butter to pan and using a rösti ring, add the potato and press down to form little discs. Allow to cook for about 5 minutes before flipping and cooking another 5 minutes on the other side.
- Serve with your choice of toppings. See post above for some yummy suggestions!
Note: you can freeze your cooked rösti and reheat in the oven or for a few minutes in a hot pan. Make sure they’re heated through, golden and crisp before serving. I like to cook up a big batch with my harvested potatoes so I can get it all out of the way and enjoy delicious rösti throughout the year…or as long as they last at least!
I’d love to hear how you get on if you decide to have a go at making rösti. Comment below or tag me on Instagram @plotandlane in your rösti posts – I’m curious to see what your will have with yours! As always I’d love to hear what you think of this recipe and if you ever have any questions feel free to comment below or reach out on the contact form or over on my Instagram.
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