I’ve been back from Switzerland for two weeks now, and I must admit, there’s some food that I can’t get out of my head.  I thought I’d introduce you all to some more Swiss food favorites, since I’m craving them something fierce.  In the next several days, I’m going to do posts featuring a Swiss food and a recipe for preparing it. Bon appetite!

First off, let’s talk about potatoes.  I thought the Irish loved potatoes, but if you ask me, the Swiss are the ones that have the most uses for them.  In particular, they use them in Rösti, their national hashbrown like dish that’s served at any meal. 

Chris and Chari took me to an authentic Rösti restaurant, where it was the main menu item. I got to experience the different ways the dish is served.  The pictured version has ham and Appenzeller cheese in it.  Yum.  But, I saw versions with chopped onion and diced bacon.  The Zurich version adds cumin and onion.  It’s also very common to add fried eggs on top. 

If you’re a cook like me who likes to find creative ways to use leftovers, this might be a good recipe for you.  Let’s say that one night you do steak and boiled potatoes.  A couple nights later, you can use the leftover potatoes in a Rösti that will be a very different dish. 

Here’s how to make Rösti

Boil unpeeled potatoes and refrigerate to cool, preferably overnight.  The next day, grate them with a course grater.  Now, the fun part.  Heat a heavy skillet with butter or lard over medium heat (nobody said this was low fat).  Press down the grated potato firmly with a wooden spoon.  The challenge is to flip the whole thing to brown the other side.  Chari suggests sliding it onto another plate.  You’d mix in the onions or other ingredients prior to browning.  As you can see from the version I ate, the cheese can be melted on top, but it’s often chopped into little slices and cooked in the potatoes as well.  Serve piping hot.

Published in: on August 28, 2008 at 10:24 am  Comments (4)  
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  1. Amy, what is the actual recipe…other that potatoes, onion and cheese?

    AL: What, you mean not everybody cooks like I do, just randomly throwing things in a pan and hoping it will turn out? hehe.

    Sure, I’ll be more specific. But, I warn you, it’s pretty much potatoes, onion, and cheese!

    First off, and this is particularly for you Josh, since I think you’ll appreciate it, here’s a little typical swiss video of a country swiss lady making Rosti. You’ll see that it is a bit of a “a little bit of this and a little bit of that” recipe. But, it’s nice to see it made and also to see a bit of the swiss country lifestyle.

    Specific Rosti Recipe:

    Makes a big skillet full, family size.


    3-4 waxy potatoes (1 pound). Yukon Gold are best.
    1/4-1/2 cup chopped onion (depending on how much onion you like. Walla Walla Sweets Are awesome).
    2-4 tbsp butter or lard
    3/4 cup grated emmental or appenzeller cheese
    salt and pepper


    Use a heavy skillet, large is best. Heat to medium and melt half the butter (amount depending on how health conscious you are and how much things stick in your pan). Get the butter foamy and add the onion and potatoes mixed together, with 1/4 cup of the cheese if you want to have a little gooey cheese mixed in. Press the mixture down firmly until it’s flat and fills the bottom of the pan and cook until bottom is brown (around 8 minutes). You might need to turn the heat down a bit if it’s burning up fast. Stick a dinner plate on top and flip the pancake onto it. Slide back to brown the other side for another 8ish minutes.

    When it’s cooked through, you can stick it under the broiler (make sure your pan works under the broiler) and melt the cheese along with any other goodies you want to stick ontop. If you wanted to put a fried egg on there, go for it. Ham works well. So does fried mushrooms.

    Salt and pepper to taste and serve piping hot. keep in oven at 200 if holding to serve.

  2. That food does look good.

    AL: Maybe I’ll make it for you guys next time you’re out here. The only bummer thing is that you can’t just do it on a whim. You have to have the potatoes sitting overnight.

  3. Ooooh, yummy! Rosti. I’ve copied the recipe and now I’m going to check out that YouTube video. Thank you for sharing this…my mouth is watering.

    AL: Thanks for reminding me to talk about Rosti! You’ll have to let me know if it works out for you. I’m looking for creative ideas to plop ontop of it. Personally, just plain potatoes sounds a little boring to me. I need some other ingredients.

  4. Hi!
    Thanks for publishing some great Swiss recipes! I am Swiss and am sharing my recipes with my friends too.
    A comment to the Roesti:
    I make mine with just salt, pepper and maybe nutmeg. Also, I just keep it in the pan, on med-high heat until “a little smoke plume rises fromt the middle” as a Swiss chef explained. I flip it the same way, by putting a large cover or plate on top, flip the whole thing and then slide it into the pan (with more butter, of course).
    I like to serve it with eggs sunny side up, sausage, or salad, or even better: zueri gschnaetzlets.

    Thanks for sharing!

    AL: Thanks for your suggestions! I appreciate having more Swiss cooks chime in here to help me out with these recipes, since I’m not exactly a native! Now, I just need to figure out what zueri gschnaetzlets are!

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