The Swede

January turned into an extremely busy month with work, visiting friends, and the beginnings of wedding planning. Having set my New Years resolution of giving up caffeine, then breaking it on the 1st of January as a hungover head craved coffee, however I got back on track as of the 2nd and pretty much caffeine free for a month. I do seem to be getting less headaches and dips in energy at work so perhaps it is doing me good. I will strive to keep it up.

Poor Swedes along with turnips and celeriac they are surely the most under used root vegetable, condemned to unidentified vegetable chunks in stews and soups if not just given over completely as animal feed. In the wonderful “Vegetable Book” Jane Grigson pretty much writes of the large winter swedes as the above. I have some hesitation to disagree with the rather formidable queen of fruit and veg but I do think we can find more uses for this cheap and neglected veg.

I am not, to Joel’s great disappointment a big eater/cook of roast dinners. The meat, potatoes and two veg is really not a food format that excites me I prefer a more combined approach. However when I do treat him to a roast I like to mix up the vegetable selection that comes with it. There is defiantly a space in this kind of meal for a neutral, substantial type vegetable but I prefer to try something different to potatoes (unless of course it is spring and some lovely new potatoes are available – there are not many culinary habits I have inherited from my dad but a soft spot for Jersey Royals is defiantly one of them).
Swedes work really well as this neutral type vegetable and can in many ways be used like potatoes, delicious mashed or roasted (particularly with the additional of a little harrisa paste).

So to go with our latest roast I decided to try a flash back to the 70s and a swede rosti, I did find I needed to use a little egg to bind the grated swede together but as it also adds a richness to the rosti I wasn’t too upset by this. I have to say the amount of liquid that came out of the swede after grating was surprising, I’m not saying it was the tastiest juice ever but considering all the vitamin C in swede maybe it will be the new trendy juice ingredient.

Swede Rosti

 1 medium swede

1 egg

2 tbsp of thyme leaves

2 cloves of garlic.

1 knob of butter


Using a knife peel the swede then slice in half. Grate both halves of swede then taking a handful at a time squeeze the liquid out of the gratings.

 Whisk your egg, mince your garlic then combine all ingredients except the butter.

 You can either make a large roti or multiple little rostis – both work well.

 Add the butter to a medium heat frying pan.

 To make one large rosti add all the mixture to the pan and then use the back of a spoon to compact into a firm rosti. If making individual rostis take a handful of the mixture and squeeze into a little pati in your hand before transferring to the pan.

 On a low-to medium heat I cooked the large rosti for 10 mins on one side, flipped then 10 mins on the other, enough time for the centre of the rosti to be soft and the outside nice and crisp. For the small rostis, reduce to around 5-7 mins a side.


 I then served along side roast chicken, braised red cabbage and apple, kale, broccoli and some carrots. I’m thinking these would go really well with some softened spinach and a poached egg as a quick tea.



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