Pumpkin Rösti with Lemon Thyme

October 7, 2010
by Jack McNulty

Making pumpkin rösti in Switzerland just seems like a good idea.

There are plenty of fresh pumpkins to find nearly everywhere you look – especially those starchy kabocha varieties which combine the nutty pastiness of chestnuts with the sweet earthiness of sweet potatoes…oh, and with a little pumpkin thrown in as well.

Then, there are those incredible October potatoes to experiment with – and not just any potato will do! In Switzerland, a proper rösti is only made with…eh, a rösti potato of course. You can follow my lead and look for the Urgenta or Victoria varieties if you are in Switzerland, otherwise select a potato that is more on the waxy side with less starch.

Another consideration is everyone in Switzerland seems a bit pumpkin-crazed during the month of October…and always rösti-crazed. So, as you can see, the idea to make a pumpkin rösti just works…and I have received quite a lot of requests for this recipe.

So here’s how I make enough for about two rösti:

Pumpkin Rösti
makes enough for about 2 Rösti

Place about 300 grams of mostly waxy potatoes (Urgenta or Victoria in Switzerland) in a pot and cover with cold water. Cover the pot and bring the water slowly to a boil over medium heat. Boil the potatoes for 8 minutes, then immediately remove them from the pot an allow them to completely cool. I actually like to refrigerate the cooked potatoes for one night, which makes peeling and grating the next day considerably easier. So when you are ready to prepare the rösti, go ahead and peel and grate the potatoes using the large holes of a grater (or box grater). Place all of the grated potatoes in a bowl.

Now, you will need to grate 300 grams of raw pumpkin into the bowl using the same grater. I like to use a very starchy kabocha variety for making these rösti, but beware…they are not easy to grate. Take your time with this and guard your knuckles a bit. Toss the pumpkin and potato together, and season with about one tablespoon of sea salt and some roughly chopped fresh lemon thyme. That’s it on the preparation…here’s how to make the rösti.

Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small non-stick pan (about 15-cm) over medium heat. Add about half of the pumpkin-potato mixture to the pan and shake it a bit, then gently press the rösti down to fit the mold of the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the edges are golden. Add a bit of olive oil around the sides of the pan as needed to prevent the rösti from sticking in any way…it should gently slide around as you swirl the pan a bit. Flip the rösti by covering the pan with an inverted plate, turning the rösti over onto the plate. Don’t hesitate…just flip it confidently. Slide the rösti back into the pan – cooked side now facing up. Add some more olive oil and cook gently for another 5-10 minutes. Flip the finished rösti onto a cutting board and cut into wedges. Enjoy the rösti warm.

Also check out our friend Kerrin’s wonderful MyKugelhopf blog report on buying pumpkins near Zürich: A Gaggle of Gourds