Day 22: Beet Röesti ♥

~ recipe updated & photo added in 2006 ~

A real FED (Fast, Easy, Delicious) -- my favorite this month so far!

I bet you've never had beets like this. I bet, once you do, you'll cook 'em this way again and again. The recipe caught my eye because I well remember röesti, a traditional Swiss dish of wide, flat, crisp discs of grated potato often served with an egg: mountain-top ambrosia.

It comes from 'The Minimalist' Mark Bittman's 1998 How To Cook Everything, a terrific reference cookbook, very contemporary where the traditional ones (Betty Crocker, etc.) now seem dated. I turn to it often in learning mode and find 'just enough' detail. And it has nearly 90 pages of ideas for vegetables alone!

Active time: maybe 10 minutes
Time to table: maybe 15 minutes
Serves 4

1 tablespoon butter
1 large beet (about 1/2 pound), peeled and grated (see ALANNA's TIPS)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped (see TIPS)
2 tablespoons flour

Melt butter in a large, low skillet over MEDIUM HIGH and let cook until just starting to brown. Mix beets, salt, rosemary and flour in a medium bowl, combining well. Transfer to skillet in four piles (see TIPS). Use spatula to form round patties and flatten til quite thin. Let cook about 5 minutes, pressing occasionally, until bottom is crisp. Turn over and repeat. Serve immediately, topped with a dollop of sour cream and bits of chopped rosemary.

Per Serving: 55 Cal (47% from Fat, 8% from Protein, 45% from Carb); 1 g Protein; 3 g Tot Fat; 2 g Sat Fat; 7 g Carb; 2 g Fiber; 13 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 663 mg Sodium; 8 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 1 point

  • To my surprise, it was both quick and easy to peel (with a carrot peeler) and grate (with a hand grater) the beets. Still, if I were fixing this for a crowd, I'd get out the food processor to do the grating.
  • Chives might be great, dill too.
  • The recipe specifies a single large disc which is how I cooked it. But the flipping is a little clunky and so another time, I'd make individual cakes.
  • Notes from 2006:
    • Dill is perhaps even better than rosemary!!
    • The cakes didn't get crisp, even though the insides were perfectly cooked and soft. Too little fat? A function of very fresh garden beets?
    • A half-pound beet made four four-inch cakes.
Adapted from How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman.
Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.