Po-tay-to, Po-tah-to: Emmentaler and Apple Rösti

I mentioned before that Swiss food tends to be rich and heavy.  This dish sits like it is, though in reality the ingredients aren’t. The other distinguishing flavor of Swiss cuisine is, I guess, the lack of distinguishment. Unlike my favorite places so far on my journey, Swiss food doesn’t have all that many spices, and that means for my taste buds, it’s pretty blah. And tonight’s, while not bad, wasn’t all that exciting either.

Rösti, what is basically just a big potato pancake, is considered by many Swiss to be their national dish. Popular in the Alpine region, the ingredients for the traditional version are simple and cheap- basically potatoes grated and fried in butter. Crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside, it’s usually served with poached eggs, either as a breakfast or supper.  I wanted to add a little pizzaz to mine and lighten it up a bit, so I grated some onions and apples to mix in with the potatoes….you know, sweet and savory…and cooked it in only enough butter to crisp it up rather than sop it up.

There’s a couple ways to make this- first you can parboil the potatoes, or you can just start from raw. I sort of went the middle route and cooked the shredded potatoes in the microwave for about 3:30 minutes. I’m not sure if it made a difference in the way that it cooked, but that’s what I did.  For a very interesting and comprehensive analysis on making the perfect Rösti, check out this site.

Maybe another reason I was less than excited about this dish was that it was pretty similar to the Italian Benedict I made last week, which I am still having dreams about. In the end, risotto and tomato jam > apple and potato pancakes.  In any case, it was a pretty quick meal after a long day, and the runny egg and the melted Emmentaler was still tasty enough to keep me from wanting something else afterwards.  So if you’re looking for a veg option, this ain’t a bad go-to.

Serves 4


2 pounds potatoes, peeled and grated

1 TB butter

¼ tsp salt

1 large Granny Smith apple, grated

1 onion, grated

Pepper, to taste

4 eggs, poached or served over-easy

4 slices Emmentaler cheese


1.  Cover and cook the potatoes in the microwave about 3 ½ minutes, enough to cook them a bit but not make them mushy.

2.  Mix together the onions, apple, potato, salt and pepper in a big bowl. Mix well.

3.  Melt the butter in a non-stick skillet.  Brown the potatoes gently over low heat, turning occasionally.

4.  Press the potatoes together to form a flat cake, cover and allow them to continue cooking for about 15 minutes until a golden crust has formed.

5.  Turn the rosti onto a plate with the crust on top.  You can do this either by putting the serving plate over the skilled and turning it upside down or tossing it like a pancake (which I can’t do).

rosti I had flipping problems. It doesn’t look pretty, but it tasted pretty.

6. Brown on the second side about 10 minutes until also brown and crispy.

7.  When it’s done, cut the pancake into 4 pieces. On each piece, place one slice of cheese and one poached or fried egg.

egg rosti

And there you have it! Easy-peasy.

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