Potatoes have been getting a bit of a bad rap lately. The last couple of decades have witnessed a vilification of carbs; the noughties in particular saw a surge in uptake of diets advocating a severe reduction of carb intake. Even for those not following a low-carb diet, potatoes often lose out to pasta and rice, perceived as quicker and easier options.
But actually, potatoes are a versatile and very healthy ingredient – they’re inexpensive, 100% natural and unprocessed; they are low in fat and sugar and an excellent source of fibre and potassium; and they store very well – when we’ve had a particularly generous crop of home grown, we’ve been able to enjoy them for several months after harvesting by keeping them in a cool, dark cupboard.
Of course, they are also available to buy throughout the year – whether you shop at your local supermarket, independent grocer’s or food market. I like to buy by variety, experimenting to make up my own mind – do King Edwards or Maris Pipers make the best roasties? Are Charlottes or Red Duke of Yorks best for potato salad?
These days most retailers also label potatoes to indicate whether they are suitable for baking, boiling, mashing, frying and so on – the rule of thumb is that waxy varieties and new potatoes are great for potato salads because they hold their shape and texture well when boiled. Fluffier varieties are best for baking and roasting, and make fabulous chips. There are also many potatoes that can be considered good all-rounder varieties; find out more from the AHDB’s Potato Variety Database.
But the question remains – can you create a quick and delicious weekday supper using potatoes in the same time as it might take you to rustle up a pasta dinner or stir fried rice?
Of course, the answer is yes!
We were challenged to create and share a new potato recipe, something quick, easy and suitable for a weekday lunch or dinner and a little adventurous and different to boot. I hope you’ll agree that our Röstizza – using a potato rösti as a gluten free pizza base – is just that!
The Röstizza: Potato Rösti Pizza Base
- 400 g potatoes
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 20 g unsalted butter
- 2 tsp finely grated parmesan
- 1 tsp salt
- 75 g grated mozzarella cheese
- 2 tbsp pizza sauce
- Optional: Very thinly sliced salami or chorizo sausage or other toppings of your choice
- 28cm frying pan
- electric or gas hob
We use a food processor to grate the potatoes and buy ready-grated mozzarella cheese for this recipe. Add a little more prep time if you grate both by hand.
Peel and grate the potatoes.
Microwave the grated potatoes in a bowl for approximately 1 minute on full power, until piping hot.
In the meantime, heat butter and oil in a frying pan on a medium heat.
Retrieve grated potatoes from the microwave, add grated parmesan and salt and mix thoroughly.
Add potato mixture to the pan, toss briefly to coat well in butter and oil, then spread out to create a flat and even rösti, pressing down firmly.
Fry the rösti pizza base for about 12-15 minutes until golden brown beneath, checking by lifting an edge very carefully with a spatula towards the end of the cooking time. The time will vary depending on your frying pan and the exact level of heat.
Once the bottom edge is golden brown, use two plates to help flip the rösti over: Place the first plate upside down over the pan, use oven gloves to grip both plate and pan firmly together and flip over to transfer the rösti onto the plate
Now use a second plate to flip the rösti over again. Pour out any remaining oil from the pan if need be, before placing it upside down over the second plate, and flipping both over one last time. The rösti should now be upside down within the frying pan. This isn’t as complicated as it sounds, and much less risky than trying to flip the fragile rösti directly in the pan.
Preheat the grill to high.
Turn the heat on the hob up to high and add the toppings over the golden brown surface. First spread the pizza sauce, then the grated cheddar and then add any additional toppings such as salami slices, mushrooms or other vegetables. This should take no more than 4-5 minutes, allowing the second side of the rösti to crisp up.
Transfer the pan to the grill for about 2 minutes, until the cheese is melted and starting to colour.
As you can imagine, it’s easy to ring the changes by switching what you put on top.
Try pesto instead of a tomato-based pizza sauce or skip the sauce entirely for a pizza bianco.
Use a mixture of cheeses to create your own quattro formaggi (four cheeses).
As for toppings, you could opt for ham and cheese, pepperoni and jalapeno or a wonderful vegetarian medley of mushrooms, onions or peppers.
For more quick and easy potato recipes, check out:
- Planet Veggie’s Potato and Asparagus Tart
- Fuss Free Flavour’s Miso Potato Salad
- Living Lou’s Leek and Potato Soup
- Gujerati Girl’s Potato Shak (a dry style curry)
This recipe was commissioned by Love Potatoes, as part of their ‘Potatoes: More than a bit on the side’ campaign. Visit their website for more great potato recipes and detailed nutritional information.