Drei Salat

Around this time last year, Mao and I were visiting my family in Germany. Since moving to Portland, many things in this city remind me of Deutschland, such as the weather, food, eco-conscious, etc. so I have become quite homesick for Eltersdorf. I attempted during our first week here to make asparagus soup with not much success. I e-mailed my dear aunt and uncle Romi and Juergen with a plea for much needed German recipes. They sent back numerous suggestions for Bavarian salads and I spent the afternoon re-creating a few of them.

Typically when one dines at a Bavarian or Franconian farm-style restaurant, you begin the meal with a salad. It is actually comprised of several smaller salads – such as potato salad, green salad, carrot salad, and cucumber salad. When we visited last summer, my diet consisted mainly of such salads as most gasthaus restaurants are not too keen on vegetarians. I tried make the typical salad relying on memory rather than recipe earlier this week, but to no avail. Thus, I had to consult the wise German duo.

So, here are some salad recipes inspired by the Lindners, with a few American additions:

The ingredients on hand, including walnut oil, creme fraiche and various vegetables
The ingredients on hand, including walnut oil, creme fraiche and various vegetables

Karottesalat
2-3 carrots
White wine or champagne vinegar
Salad oil, such as sunflower or walnut oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Garlic (optional)
Pinch of sugar (optional)

Peel the carrots and using a box grater, grate into a small bowl. Add a small amount of vinegar, less than a teaspoon. Add about the same amount of oil. Season with salt and pepper. If you like you can add sugar for extra sweetness, but I found the carrots to be sweet enough on their own. You can also add minced garlic, but do so sparingly. Toss all the ingredients together and let the salad marinate while you prep the others.

Use a box grater to prep the carrots
Use a box grater to prep the carrots

Gurkensalat
1 English hothouse cucumber
Creme fraiche
Fresh dill
Lemon juice
Pinch of sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Using a mandoline, slice the cucumber into very thin slices. Toss the sliced cucumber with about a teaspoon of salt and let it drain in a colander. In a large bowl mix a tablespoon of creme fraiche (Greek style yogurt also works well) with as much chopped dill as you like. Add a tablespoon of lemon juice and a pinch of sugar. Add salt and pepper to your liking. Mix the dressing together. Returning to the cucumbers, drain any water that may collected from them and add them to the bowl with the dressing. Toss everything together and add additional seasoning if needed.

Grünsalat
1 head of red or green butter lettuce
Creme fraiche
Fresh chives
Lemon juice
Walnut oil
Pinch of sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl, mix together a tablespoon of creme fraiche, teaspoon of lemon juice, teaspoon of walnut oil, pinch of sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Add chopped chives to the dressing and mix well. On a salad plate add a few leaves of lettuce, adding a small amount of dressing on top of the lettuce. Add the gurkensalat and karottesalat to the same plate and enjoy.

The final product
The final product
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One response to “Drei Salat

  1. Now I am homesick for Germany, especially Eltersdorf, and most of all the Lindners! Glad you could travel down culinary memory lane. I think I am going to make this over the weekend.
    Love, UY

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