Christmas Eve Parsnip Rosti Supper
With presents to be wrapped, mulled wine to be sipped and half an eye on It’s A Wonderful Life, this is a quick, easy meal to put together amongst the business of Christmas Eve. I have spent a few winters in the snow and Christmas eve at midnight mass in doll house Swiss churches. I am a big fan of the Clean and crisp traditions of our Swiss neighbours on Christmas Eve, so this is my nod to the freshness of the swiss hills, which sits so happily amongst the richness of the rest of Christmas. Granted, it’s not a completely authentic recipe but to me, Christmas is about creating your own traditions by stealing the bits you like from others.
FOR THE RÖSTI
2 free-range or organic eggs
600g parsnips (about 4–6)
2 large potatoes
a small bunch of fresh thyme olive oil
FOR THE TOPPING
150g baby leeks
1 unwaxed lemon
TO SERVE (OPTIONAL)
6 free-range or organic eggs
100g goat’s curd or ricotta cheese
Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7, and get all your ingredients together. Heat a griddle pan on a high heat.
Beat two eggs together. Peel the parsnips and potatoes and coarsely grate them into a mixing bowl. Squeeze the grated vegetables in your hands or in a clean tea towel to get rid of most of the moisture, then put back into the bowl and add the beaten eggs and the thyme leaves. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
Heat an ovenproof shallow casserole or frying pan, then add a good drizzle of oil and the parsnip mixture. Pat out to form a thick rösti and cook on a high heat for a couple of minutes, then put into the oven and roast for 20 minutes.
Next griddle the leeks until charred on all sides and then put into the oven to keep warm with the rösti. Wilt the spinach in a frying pan with a little olive oil, then take off the heat and season well with sea salt and black pepper and grate over the zest of the lemon.
A couple of minutes before your rösti is ready, fry the eggs in a little ghee. Once the rösti has had its time, take out the leeks and mix them with the spinach. Pile this on top of the rösti with the ricotta.