Potato Rosti with Apple Compote & Carmelized Red Wine Onion

Presented by: Head Chef Birgitte Antonsen, Café Ambrosia, Seattle

Cook's Note: I always try to use as much organically grown vegetables and products as possible in my cooking. They might be a little more expensive but they have the best flavor, and because organic farming doesn’t use pesticides and chemically based fertilizers, both the environment and your health will benefit. If you cannot afford to buy all organic vegetables, I recommend that at the least raw vegetables that are eaten be organic, such as salads and fresh fruit. Some vegetables are more heavily sprayed with pesticides than others. For more information about eating organic foods, go to your local PCC store, Whole Foods store or visit Vegetarians of Washington at www.vegofwa.org. You can also get more information at the Organic Trade Association website at www.ota.com.

This dish is featured as an appetizer using fall vegetables such as celery root, parsnip, leek and potatoes. To convert into an entrée add some kind of protein source, such as cooked beans, marinated tofu or tempeh. Green leafy vegetables can also be added.

Makes ten 4 oz. portions

Ingredients for Rosti

  • 12 ounces leek, finely sliced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 - 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable bouillon powder
  • 1/2-1/3 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons grated nutmeg
  • 6 ounces parsnip, peeled and finely julienned
  • 6 ounces celery root, peeled and finely julienned
  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes or some other baking potatoes, peeled and finely julienned
  • 1 tablespoon potato starch

Ingredients for Apple Compote

  • 1/2 vanilla bean or 2-3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 pounds Granny Smith apples
  • 1/4 cup Florida cane sugar
  • One 2&1/2-inch cinnamon stick

Ingredients for Caramelized Red Wine Onion

  • 2 1/4 pounds red onion, peeled and cut into sauté slices
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup Florida cane sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups red wine
  • 3/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper

Ingredients for Beet Reduction

  • 2 cups grated beet juice

Preparation for Rosti

Cut the leek in half and rinse very thoroughly to make sure all the dirt is rinsed off. Finely slice the leek. Sauté in the olive oil together with salt, vegetable powder, black pepper and nutmeg for about 10 minutes. Do not let the leek brown. Transfer to a mixing bowl.

Grate the parsnip and celery root on a mandoline. Mix into the leek mixture. Grate the potatoes and add to the mixture immediately. Mix in the potato starch.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with baking parchment.

Add a little olive oil in a frying pan. Using a 4-ounce scoop to measure out each Rösti, place a scoop in the hot oil forming a small pancake-size portion. Fry for about 5 minutes on each side. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and continue until all the mixture has been used up. Bake the fried Rösties for 10 to 15 minutes until they are crisp and soft in the center.

To assemble the dish, place the Rösti on a plate topped with Apple Compote and Caramelized Red Wine Onion. Garnish with chives and Beet Reduction.

Preparation for Apple Compote

Cut open the vanilla bean and scrape out the vanilla seeds. Save the bean and the seeds. Skin the fresh ginger and mince it. Zest an organic lemon, cut the lemon in half and squeeze out the juice. Peel and seed the apples. Cut apples into one-quarter wedges and slice each wedge into 5 slices.

In a deep frying or braising pan, add the sugar. Let it melt over medium heat. The color has to be light brown. Add the apple wedges, ginger, cinnamon stick, vanilla bean and seeds, lemon zest and lemon juice. Let it all simmer until apple wedges are tender and the juice is evaporated. Make sure not to mash the apples too much but keep them as whole as possible.

Put into a shallow pan and cool in the refrigerator.

Preparation for Carmelized Red Wine Onion

Using a braising pan, sauté onion slices in the oil together with the salt over medium-high heat for about 15 minutes. Make sure to keep the pan covered. Add the red wine and cook until the liquid evaporates, about 20 minutes, stirring often. Continue to cook at medium-low heat until onion caramelizes, stirring often. The consistency of the red wine onion should be soft and thick.

Preparation for Beet Reduction

Reduce beet juice over high heat to 1/3 cup.

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