Give brunch, lunch or dinner a Pioppi twist with this delicious rösti recipe from the new diet book

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Few eating plans have piqued the health world’s interest more this year than the Pioppi Diet . Written by consultant cardiologist, Dr Aseem Malhotra and filmmaker Donal O’Neill, it takes inspiration from the Italian village of Pioppi where the inhabitants live long, healthy lives. An interesting read, what’s a good first port of call for putting it into practice? This delicious rösti recipe for starters...


Serves 2

For the rösti:

2 sweet potatoes, peeled

40g butter

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, very finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, finely grated

10g chopped fresh basil leaves

1 egg, lightly beaten

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the poached eggs:

2 large eggs

50 ml white wine vinegar

For the harissa crème fraîche:

150 ml créme fraiche

2 tablespoons rose harissa

100g baby spinach, basil leaves, and sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to serve


Grate the sweet potatoes, place on a clean tea towel, pull up the corners and wring out firmly over the sink to get rid of any excess liquid. Place the grated sweet potatoes into a large mixing bowl.

Put half the butter and half the oil in a medium-sized frying pan, over a low heat, add the onion and cook for another minute. Tip into the bowl with the grated sweet potato. Add the basil and the egg and mix together. Season with salt and pepper, divide in half and shape with your hands into two circles.

Put the remaining butter and oil into the frying pan, over a low heat. Add the röstis and press down gently. Cook for approximately 10 minutes, checking occasionally that the base isn’t burning, then flip and cook for another 10 minutes. If they look a little dry, or look as if they might stick, put a few tiny knobs of butter around the röstis.

Using the tip of a sharp knife, check to see if the röstis are cooked through. If not, cook for a few more minutes then check again.

While the röstis are cooking, bring a large saucepanful of water to simmering point. Add the vinegar. Crack the eggs into ramekins. Stir the water to create a vortex, slowly drop one egg at the side of the pan and repeat with the second. The eggs should be swept neatly into the middle of the pan. If you like a runny egg, cook for 3 minutes, or, if you prefer a firm yolk, up to 7. When the eggs are done, lift out of the water with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

In a small bowl, mix together the crème fraîche and the harissa.

To serve, place half the spinach on each plate as a bed. Top with a rösti, a poached egg, a good dollop of the harissa créme fraiche and a few basil leaves, and season to taste.

The Pioppi Diet by Dr Aseem Malhotra and Donal O’Neill is  published by Michael Joseph , £8.99.