A recipe for cheese-filled potato rösti topped with spring peas, shallots, and bacon.
Feet stuck at the threshold to the kitchen, I stare at the empty counter, as if it had the answer. I close my eyes, feeling the blackness of my lids and welcoming the quiet escape it offers.
Without letting the light in, I respond, “Mm?”
“What’s for dinner, Mom?”
Breathe. In and out.
“What should be for dinner?” I ask, the black of my eyelids staring back at me. I consider the contents of the fridge, visualizing the produce drawers against the dark canvas before me. I search the pantry without moving my feet.
“Could I help?”
I peel my eyes part, letting two bespectacled eyes fill my gaze. “Yes.” The answer will always be yes. There is no other option. I will make up things for you to stir. I will hand eggs to crack. I will ask you to gather lists of ingredients while I rearrange the entire stovetop in order to allow you easier access to the pans. Yes, you can help me feed the family. Yes, we can cook together. Yes.
Breakfast for dinner: the answer to nights when life seems to have knocked you right over, when you can barely stand up straight. Massive cheese-filled potato pancakes topped with the first signs of green and runny eggs: basic common sense.
I’ve been appreciating the warming weather, slow as it may seem some days. I had this horrible realization this past weekend that I have yet to even clean out the garden boxes after winterizing them last fall. Leaves and debris cover the earth that is waiting to be turned over. Soon, my lovelies, but first, a hungry boy is asking for dinner.
These potato rösti can be made with raw grated potatoes–salted and then squeezed dry–when you don’t have parboiled potatoes waiting for you in the refrigerator. You can also make them slightly smaller on a griddle and more at once, should you be cooking for a crowd. The cheese, I suppose, is optional too, but what is not optional is plenty of oil, a well-seasoned pan, and patience. Don’t be tempted to touch and check them once they’re resting in the pan. Allow the heat and oil to do their job, crisping the potato and fusing it together as they cook. You’ll be rewarded with crispy bits that surround a soft, creamy center, all waiting to soak up that runny yolk (which I guess could also be optional, but not really).
Herbed Potato Rösti with Peas, Shallots, and Bacon
- 6 medium Yukon Gold or waxy potatoes
- kosher salt
- ½ cup shelled peas
- 2 strips of bacon, cubed
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons oil (butter, bacon grease, or a neutral oil will work)
- 2 ounces melting cheese (like raclette or fontina), shredded or thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 2 eggs, if desired
- Parboil whole potatoes in salted water by placing potatoes and salt in a pan. Cover with water and place over high heat. Bring to a boil Turn the burner off and allow the potatoes to sit for five minutes. Drain, rinse, and chill until cold. Refrigerate up to one week.
- When ready to prep, grate the potatoes and set aside.
- Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add in peas. Boil for 4 minutes. Drain.
- In a small skillet, heat bacon on medium heat until nearly crisp. Stir in the shallots and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in drained peas. Set aside.
- Heat half of the oil in a small skillet or cast iron pan over medium heat. Separate potatoes into four equal parts. Place one portion in the skillet, pressing down into a disc-like shape and using a spatula to form. In the center, place half the cheese and half the parsley. Top with another quarter of the potatoes. Cook for 7-10 minutes, until the bottom is golden.
- Using a plate, invert the potatoes and flip to the other side. Continue cooking until golden. Repeat with the remaining potatoes and cheese. One cooked, prep your eggs, if desired.
- Top the potato rösti with the pea, shallot, bacon mixture and an egg each. Garnish with extra herbs, salt, and pepper, and enjoy.
It is again time for Eat Seasonal, and it’s obvious now that spring is underway. The green recipes are prevalent, and we’re all stretching our arms wide as we wake from the last several months of winter.
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