Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

January 24, 2022
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Potato and egg salad with seven-herb sauce

(Frankfurter grüne soße)

This green sauce can be spooned over whatever you like, but traditionally it’s enjoyed with eggs and potatoes or with meat. It’s exclusive to Frankfurt, though various versions have surely travelled the globe. There are several ways to make it, but all versions have exactly seven leafy herbs, some common, others indigenous to their homes such as burnet, borage and lovage. Goethe was a big fan of grüne soße and as he said, “One doesn’t always lose when one has to do without.” So use what’s available to you and lots of it.

2 c. (500 ml) fresh herbs, tough stems removed, chopped very finely; choose seven from this list to make a substantial bouquet: arugula, basil, borage, burnet, chervil, chives, dill, lovage, mint, sorrel, tarragon, watercress, curly or flat-leaf parsley

1 c. (250 ml) crème fraîche or sour cream

2 c. (500 ml) low-fat plain yogurt

1 medium shallot, very finely chopped

2 pickles, very finely chopped

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp. (15 ml) white wine vinegar

2 tsp. (10 ml) Dijon mustard

2 tsp. (10 ml) sunflower oil (optional, though it adds gloss and richness)

2 lb. (1 kg) new potatoes

6 eggs

arugula or watercress leaves, to serve

Remove any tough stems from the herbs and chop very finely. This is best done by hand, as a machine can bring out bitterness.

Stir together the crème fraîche or sour cream and yogurt. Add the chopped herbs, shallot, pickles, salt and pepper, vinegar, mustard and oil, if using. Mix thoroughly and let stand for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight, to allow the flavours to infuse.

Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in a large saucepan until tender, then drain. Keep warm. You can hard-boil the eggs if you like or, for just-cooked “butter-yolked” eggs, cover with cold water, bring to a boil and simmer for 6 minutes. Let cool, then shell and cut in half.

Taste the sauce and add more seasoning if you like, including a drop more vinegar or oil if you feel it needs it.

Arrange a bed of arugula or watercress on a platter or individual plates. Top with the warm potatoes and eggs. Spoon the green sauce over them and serve. Serves 6.

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