Potato rösti with rocket, tomato and a dollop of basil mayonaisse

It is meat-free Monday and lunch time! I have been craving potato rösti for a while now, but I have to admit that it is the one thing that I have had very little success with. Which is quite ridiculous as it seems so easy in all the recipes I have found. My potatoes are usually to watery, or to dry, doesn’t keep shape, stays raw or turns to mush. I have tried parboiled potato, mashed potato, raw potatoes, and the good ol’ raw potato and onion mix.  My boyfriend also gave it a go last week, but with little success either. Thus I set myself the challenge of attempting the perfect, golden potato rosti again, and with lunch being on the line I really did put in the effort!

It balanced perfectly with the acidity of the tomato, pepperyness of the rocket and creaminess of the mayo. It turned out to be a really tasty and easy lunch, even if I have to say so myself!

I used one potato for 4 röstis (which should serve 2 for a very light lunch, or 1 for a more proper lunch).

Potato rösti:

1 potato grated,

3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

2 teaspoons cake flour

1 sprig spring onion, finely sliced

salt and pepper to taste

2 tablspoons cooking oil for frying

Squeeze the water out of the grated potato, and mix with the spring onion in a mixing bowl. Add the melted butter, salt and pepper and mix through. Lastly add the flour, mix well and form patty shapes with your hands. Heat the oil in a frying pan over high heat, and add the potato röstis. Fry for 5-8 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Dry on a paper kitchen towel, and serve warm with a slice of tomato, shredded rocket and a dollop of mayonnaise mixed with basil pesto.

Bolognaise, feta and rocket pizza

Who does not like pizza?  This is one of my favourite weekend recipes- the bolognaise sauce can simmer and reduce until just right, whilst the home-made pizza dough rise leisurely in the window sill. I aim to use Italian flavours for the bolognaise  just because both pizza and bolognaise are of Italian origin. This also gives me the opportunity to nip back some of my herb plants which encourages new growth.

This is definitely not a low-fat recipe, but, as mentioned in earlier posts, I reduce the amount of sugar and preservatives found in bottled tomato sauce and frozen pizza basis, by rather making my own.  I know precisely what goes into everything that the pizza is made up of, and can make whole wheat or gluten-free pizza basis by replacing the cake flour that I use in this recipe with either whole-wheat or gluten-free flour, which is readily available at health shops these days. You can also of course not add cheese at the end and create a lactose-free pizza, but I honestly don’t know what a pizza without cheese is. This recipe gives approximately three pizzas.

For the base:

1 1/2 cup flour

150 ml luke warm water

5 grams (1/2 sachet) instant yeast

10 ml sugar

pinch salt

45 ml olive oil

Add your flour and salt to a mixing bowl (no need to sift), and make a well in the middle of the flour. Add the olive oil. In a separate measuring jug, add the yeast and sugar and 150 ml lukewarm water.  Mix and leave for 5 minutes until frothy. Add to the flour, and start kneading. The more you knead the softer the dough will become. Knead for 5-10 minutes until your dough feels silky and everything has come together. You should be able to press the dough lightly with your finger and see it return to shape slightly. Rub with a drop or two olive oil (which prevents it to crack and dry when rising) and cover with a damp cloth. Place somewhere warm and sunny and allow to rise for 1 hour. Roll out on a surface that is slightly covered with flour and shape accordingly.

For the bolognaise sauce:

200 gram lean mince

1 brown onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed or finely chopped

1 tin tomato paste

1 can whole peeled tomatoes or cherry tomatoes

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

1 tablespoon dried oregano

salt and black pepper to taste

Heat a dash of olive oil over moderate heat in a pan. Brown the onion and garlic, and add the mince. Brown the mince, then add the tomato paste and canned tomato. I rinse my cans (for recycling) with 40-50 ml water, and add that to the sauce as well. Allow to simmer gently for 20-30 minutes until reduced. Add the parsley, basil, and oregano, mix well and set aside to cool.

For the pizza:

Prepared pizza base (above)

Prepared bolognaise sauce (above)

1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced

5-6 button mushrooms, thinly sliced

2-3 cups grated mozzarella cheese

1 wheel feta, crumbled

handful fresh shredded rocket

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius. There is no need for a tomato base as it is already included in the bolognaise sauce. To assemble the pizza I first cover the base with the bolognaise sauce, followed by the peppers and mushrooms. Lastly I cover everything in cheese and feta, and bake in the oven until golden and bubbling. The pizza crust should be golden and crisp. Once the pizza is out of the oven, add shredded rocket to serve. Bon apetit!