So the first order of business is that I clearly can’t keep up this regular-posting differently-themed-days thing. I never have the right thing to talk about on the day I have time to write. So I sadly bid farewell to yet another attempt to have an organised online life; oh, well.
Luckily I have something AMAZING to make up for it.
Potato Rosti Stacked with Halloumi and Grilled Tomato on a Bed of Spinach
A few weeks ago I had breakfast at Baobab. It was truly delicious, beautifully prepared … and not very large for its price tag. I was still kinda hungry after it, not going to lie. But I couldn’t stop thinking about it and decided I absolutely had to make it, myself, in abundant, satisfying quantities. So I did. And unlike most home recreations, I thought this was actually kinda better than the version I had there. It’s been awhile so I don’t know how exact the duplicate is (I don’t think they used carrot and I think they had a pesto of some kind as well as the balsamic vinegar) but this owes a lot to the Baobab Potato Rosti Stack.
Makes six rosti; serves two or three people depending.
Gluten free, vegetarian. Not too spendy except for the halloumi.
4 smallish potatoes
1 large carrot
3 large cloves garlic
A handful of parsley
Salt and pepper
Around 300g halloumi
2 fresh, ripe but still firm tomatoes
1. Preheat oven to the maximum temperature.
2. Wash the potatoes and carrot. Peel them if you want (I didn’t).
3. Grate both coarsely, and rinse thoroughly under cold water (a colander is good and easier to clean than a sieve; you could also use a vege steamer). Let drain as long as you have patience for.
4. Crush the garlic and finely chop with the parsley. Squeeze the liquid out of potato and carrot by twisting portions up in a teatowel. Get it as dry as possible – you want them to not be sticking together much, and to come apart from each other easily in the bowl.
5. Lightly beat the egg, and toss with the carrot, potato, garlic, and parsley. Season to taste.
6. In a frying pan, heat enough canola oil (or other cheapo vegetable oil) to cover the pan about 1 centimetre (a bit over half an inch) deep.
7. Heap large spoonfuls of the vege mix into the oil, and pat and squish (with a spoon or other utensil!) into rough patty shapes. Fry for around five minutes until they’re a golden brown on the bottoms, flip and repeat on the other side. Drain briefly on a paper towel. You might have some integrity issues (i.e. they might fall apart under pressure, e.g. when they’re being moved around). Don’t worry about it. It’s possible this could be avoided by using a little flour or extra egg in the mix, but I wanted to stay gluten-free. Plus also I don’t really like a floury rosti; it really affects the taste and texture.
8. Grease a baking tray or cover it with baking paper. Place the rosti on the tray, and top them with a slice of halloumi – at least half a centimetre thick; they don’t need to be too much thicker than that although they can be if you like – and a thick slice of tomato (like 2 cm/an inch thick; each tomato should become around four slices).
9. Turn the oven to grill (broil) and grill them directly under the element for 7-10 minutes, until the halloumi looks a little wobbly and the tomato looks heated through.
10. Meanwhile, beat a tablespoon or two of balsamic vinegar with a teaspoon or two of olive oil, and possibly salt and pepper if you like. Wash and dry the spinach.
11. Place the spinach on a plate. Top with the rosti stack and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
12. Eat up!
I don’t have pictures because my camera battery died and my charger is at my parents’ house. Sorry. But really, the photos would not have done this justice. (They present very prettily though; the spinach with the crispy golden potato, the pale halloumi and the red tomato look fantastic together.) Also, this is really best served very hot; if it were me and I was feeding this to other people and wanted to do stuff ahead, I’d fry the rosti but not grill them until everyone was there. Even then though, I wouldn’t leave it too long.