Sundays are meant for comfort food.
Like many, I like to enjoy leisurely, comfort-type meals, whether brunch or Sunday roasts. For brunch, waffles and eggs are pretty much tradition at this point, though I will venture into other dishes also. If eating eggs, I enjoy eating them with some potatoe dish that fits right into the comfort food department, like hash, or sauteed potatoes. Winter is in fact probably spud season by definition, and a great number of varieties can certainly be found at this time of year, so there are options for brunch.
But on a recent market run, I found some sunchokes, also known as Jerusalem artichokes. I truly love their sweet flavors and have been hoarding them for multiple uses over the season. As I was thinking of what to do with them, it occurred to me one Sunday morning that they would be great in a potatoe rosti. Rosti, a rather simple potatoe dish, is surprisingly not often thought of for brunch. But it is a great accompaniment to a fried egg.
To make the rosti, I grated about 2 large potatoes (rose and yellow finns for example) and 3 cups of sunchokes. I salted the mix to help drain some of their liquid, and then squeezed hands full at a time to extract as much moisture as possible. Meanwhile, I heated some olive oil and a little butter in a saute pan.
The mix was then added and pressed, again, hands full at a time, onto the pan over medium heat. The rosti was left to cook on that side for about 8-10', then transferred to a plate, and flipped back in the pan to cook the other side for about 5-6' with a little more oil and butter (both sides need to be golden brown).
To serve with the rosti, I fried an egg (from pasture raised hens :)) and made a simple chickweed salad. Chickweed, an edible weed, has been back at the SF Ferry Building Farmers Market for a little while, and is always welcome. It has a slightly grassy taste but is delicious slightly seasoned or combined with pomegranates for example. For this brunch, I mixed it with roasted white acorn squash, drizzled it with olive oil, lemon juice and seasoned with salt and pepper, simply.
The rosti was deliciously sweet while maintaining the "panfried" potato flavor typical of rostis, and perfect with the runny egg. The salad added a little freshness, and I also added a piece of persimmon bread (an experiment that turned out well - perhaps another post :)). So, this was a comforting plate for a Sunday brunch. And for a Meatless Monday dinner too!
By the way:
- The rosti could be seasoned or finished with herbs: parsley, chives, sage, and even thyme for example.
- I also used smoked sea salt, because, it really tastes good :).
- If you are in NYC, an excellent egg brunch with veggie hash can be had at Community in the Upper West Side. And the pancakes never disappoint either...:)
- The dishes are all gluten-free, can be made dairy-free (without using butter to saute the rosti), and will satisfy vegetarian eaters too.