Saturday, 23 March 2013

Enjoying the Greenery

Frankfurter GrüneSoße mit Kartoffel & Ei
Frankfurt Green Sauce with Boiled Potatoes & Eggs

Having lived in Frankfurt for 25 years now, I think it is about time I should show you something that is absolutely THE most typical regional favorite dish here... albeit of course in MY version.
It is not that different I suppose (well, actually it IS), but the traditional one is already of course online in it's myriad incarnations... I am sure you will prefer mine anyway!

"Grüne Soße" is made of a traditional mix of 7 herbs... fortunately for us living in Frankfurt, we can buy them already rinsed, sorted, pre-packed and ready to go at the market or my beloved indoor market. The 7 herbs you will need for the classic version are: parsley, chives, pimpernell, borage, chervil, sorrel and garden cress.

Getting the exact mix of each herb just right for your own particular taste is going to take some trial and error- the mix of essential oils in the herbs is what gives the sauce it's slightly pungent, earthy flavor. My best advice is to go easy on the ingredients like sorrel and borage the first time around- or to maybe add those little by little after making a "base sauce" of parsley, chives and garden cress. Me on the other hand- I just opened the parcel and jumped straight in!

Ok- I did start out with a good handful of parsley for my single serving and about half as much each of the chives and cress- as for the others, I would say a good pinch of each is enough. It is not rocket science and there is no magic formula- it is absolutely and always a case of trial and error, as herbs also differ in their strength of flavor. So be brave! And get chopping- as fine as you can! You can of course use a food processor- but I prefer to do things the old way :-)

Once the herbs were finely chopped, I prepared a bowl to mix the sauce in and rubbed it with a half clove of garlic- just to have a slight garlicky note- but a very subtle one at that. It is not a part of the original recipe... but I like it! I then added the herbs and as opposed to many versions which use cream or even mayonnaise, I used plain low-fat yogurt for mine... I see no good reason why not to! I also saw no reason to not "be me"- and added a small drizzle of olive oil to mine- definitely not in the traditional Frankfurt recipe- but then I am not originally from Frankfurt- I am Sicilian and was born in England- haha! I seasoned with salt, pepper and the tiniest hint of nutmeg, then added a half teaspoon of mustard powder and a snall squeeze of lemon juice... and that was that! I stirred it together well... tasted it, loved it and popped it into the fridge for the flavors to intensify even more whilst the potatoes and eggs cooked...

I am sure I don't need to tell you how to hard-boil and egg or how to boil a potato... so suffice to say, the egg was ready after around 6-7 minutes and the little potatoes after 10 or so. Which is not too long to wait... not really... although I WAS really hungry today! In any case, a little salt and a good pinch of coarsely ground pepper was all the eggs and potatoes needed and together with the refreshing, light green sauce, it was an absolute delight and no wonder it is Frankfurt's favorite dish. So simple and so good... so, Guten Appetit!

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