Sweet Potato–Apple Rosti With Leafy Greens & Sour Cream

December 15, 2020
3 Ratings
  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

There are two truly wonderful things about working in restaurant kitchens. One, the sheer volume of people that you get to work with, like fellow cooks, and guests, and farmers, and vendors, and dishwashers, and delivery truck drivers, and on, and on. Two, that every one of those people can teach you something new about cooking.

Arguably the national dish of Switzerland, rösti is a crispy-edged potato pancake, effectively hash browns in skillet form. Most traditionally, rösti is made by browning grated potato in a hearty amount of goose fat or butter (or both if you’ve really been hitting the Alpine peaks). It’s meant to be cut into wedges and shared, compared to something very much akin to a latke, which is individually sized and often bound with egg and flour, neither of which are needed here.

One day, in the restaurant, we were thinking up a menu item that would use up a glut of potatoes, that was also vegan and gluten-free. Allison Scott brought up the technique of using cornstarch to bind a root vegetable cake, because she had learned it from Josh Kulp and Christine Chikowski when she worked for them at Sunday Dinner Club in Chicago. We ended up blending potatoes with sweet potatoes because Beth Eckles from Green Acres in Indiana had come in earlier that day with the most delicious tubers we’d ever tried. We added dill because a guest over-heard us talking and said that his grandmother was Polish and always used dill and sour cream in her latkes. We piled greens on top because everything is better with a pile of greens, especially to balance out a big spoonful of sour cream. It was our version of stone soup with everyone adding just a little bit.

This dish is a play on that original collaboration. Sweet potatoes naturally walk the line between sweet and savory. So do apples. Both love black pepper, so I go a bit heavier here than in most recipes. You could gild the lily by adding a handful of grated cheddar or raclette to the top of the rosti before it goes into the oven, but it isn’t necessary. Or you could serve cranberry sauce on the side to make it extra wintery-festive.

This is what we make every year the night we decorate the house for the holidays. I pull out the raclette machine, fry up some rosti, and tuck in for a cozy night, thinking of all folks who have shared their recipes, their food, their time, and their labor to help make dinner better. —abraberens

Test Kitchen Notes

Every month, in Eat Your Vegetables, chef, Ruffage cookbook author, and former farmer Abra Berens shares a seasonal recipe that puts vegetables front and center (where they should be!). Missed an installment? Head here to catch up. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, washed but not peeled
  • 2 apples, cut from the core but not peeled
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) unsalted butter (or substitute neutral oil)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 sprigs dill, roughly chopped
  • 4 ounces baby kale, spinach, or arugula
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice or vinegar
  • 4 ounces sour cream
  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Place a large, ovenproof frying pan in the oven to preheat for at least 10 minutes
  2. With a box grater or the grating blade of a food processor, grate the sweet potatoes and apples. Give a good squeeze to remove any excess moisture. Toss the grated sweet potato and apple with the cornstarch to coat evenly.
  3. Remove the pan from the oven and heat 2 tablespoons or so of the butter over medium-high heat. When the butter is foamy or the oil warm, swirl to evenly coat the pan. Place half of the grated mixture into the pan, pressing it firmly to make good contact with the cooking surface and go all the way to the edges. Season liberally with salt, pepper, and the chopped dill. Add a few more knobs of butter or drizzles of oil to the edges of the pan, ensuring that the rosti browns evenly. Add the rest of the grated mixture, again pressing in firmly. Season the top with salt and pepper.
  4. Allow the rosti to start to brown without disturbing the bottom, about 4 minutes. Transfer to the oven and bake until the sweet potatoes are cooked through, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let set for 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. While the rosti is cooling, dress the greens with a glug of olive oil, a splash of vinegar or squeeze of lemon, and a few pinches of salt and black pepper.
  6. Invert the rosti onto a serving platter. Cut the rosti into wedges and serve with a big dollop of sour cream and pile of dressed greens on top.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • abraberens
  • Deepak
  • Nina Horowitz
    Nina Horowitz
  • LNF
Abra Berens is a chef, author, and former vegetable farmer. She started cooking at Zingerman's Deli, trained at Ballymaloe in Cork, Ireland. Find her at Granor Farm in Three Oaks, MI. Her first two cookbooks Ruffage and Grist are out now. The third Pulp: a practical guide to cooking with fruit publishes on April 4th, 2023.

9 Reviews

Deepak July 11, 2022
So I think this recipe needs some tinkering… I squeezed out all the moisture from the sweet potatoes and apples and they still took longer to cook and were not that crispy. Maybe the amount of potatoes and apples is too much as well. Delicious!
abraberens March 1, 2021
Hi all, sorry for the delayed response. I've just fiddled with the recipe and hope it is crisper from here on out. Thanks for the feedback and alerting me to the issue.
Nina H. February 28, 2021
I had the same problem as everyone else had. Tasty but not crisp, which is the main idea. Too much moisture I think.
LNF February 18, 2021
Made this last night, tasty but not at all crispy on bottom or top. Tried under the broiler afterwards as crisp. going back to an old fashioned potato type kugle.
triag January 13, 2021
Same here-mushy-though delicious. I broiled at the end to try to crisp up/brown the top, which helped a little-but did not look like the photo.
foodie2811 January 3, 2021
I had the same problem with the final product not being crisp. I think straining the sweet potato and apple before putting in the pan world help. Next time I'll try that.
michaelaszabo January 2, 2021
I had a hard time getting this to crisp seemed to moist overall. Any tips?
michaelaszabo January 2, 2021
Frenchie January 14, 2021
Maybe squeezing them in a towel like you'd do with potatoes for latkes?