What to Eat in Switzerland: A Geneva Christmas: White Wine Potatoes

Published by Friday, December 21, 2012 Permalink 0
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A Geneva Christmas: White Wine Potatoes Recipe

by Jonell Galloway

From the archives

English: Jet d'Eau, Geneva

In A Geneva Christmas: Longeole sausage, I think I got your mouth watering talking about longeole, or fennel seed sausage. But did you see the potatoes in the photo? That’s THE essential side dish: potatoes cooked in broth and white wine.

I translated and adapted this recipe from A la mode de chez nous, Plaisirs de la table romande, a book on cooking in French-speaking Switzerland, by M. Vidoudez and J. Grangier.


A Geneva Christmas-white wine potatoes-Longeole-recipe-Switzerland-the rambling epicure-jonell galloway-genevalunch-traditional dish

Longeole sausage served with
potatoes cooked in white wine and broth


1 kg / 2.2 lbs type 2 all-purpose potatoes
Olive oil, just enough to lightly coat potatoes
1 tablespoon spelt flour (farine d’épeautre), or otherwise whole wheat
240 ml / 1 cup chicken broth
1 onion, diced
1 laurel leaf
3 whole cloves
300 ml / 1 1/4 cup dry white wine
1 bouquet garni
Fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste


Fennel-flavored Longeole sausages for Christmas, made by Jacky Bula butcher in Geneva











  1. Scrub potatoes. If you really don’t like potato peels, or your potatoes have lots of black spots on them, peel them. Just remember: all the fiber and vitamins are in the peel.
  2. Chop potatoes into large cubes. Put potatoes in a large saucepan. Coat lightly with olive oil and mix well.
  3. Sautée for 2 or 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Heat broth. Pour hot broth over potatoes. Add chopped onion, laurel, cloves, salt, pepper and bouquet garni. Bring to a boil. Cover, then lower heat and let it boil gently.
  5. Cook until potatoes are soft, about 15 or 20 minutes, depending on the kind of potato and the kind of pan.
  6. While the potatoes are cooking, mix flour and olive oil in a small utility bowl, until it becomes a smooth paste. Add a couple tablespoons of the hot broth from the potatoes to paste, and beat with wire whip until smooth.
  7. Add paste to potatoes, and beat gently with a wire whip. When smooth, add white wine.
  8. Continue cooking, stirring often so that it doesn’t stick, and gently boiling until the sauce starts to thicken.
  9. Taste. Add salt and pepper if required.
  10. Sprinkle with chopped parsley when serving. Traditionally, in Geneva this is served with longeole sausage at Christmas, but it goes well with many dishes, for example a smoked cooking sausage from the canton of Vaud.

Cooking notes:  I use a Kuhn Rikon Durotherm to maintain the vitamins and decrease cooking time. This also allows you to use less liquid, which gives a more intense flavor. In this case, you would use just enough broth to cover the potatoes.

This article was originally published on GenevaLunch.


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