In search of healthy and fun meals to feed my family, with an eye toward sustainable living.

Here you'll find recipes & ramblings about keeping my family fed with what's available in Alaska between local produce, a little bit of wild harvest, and the modern grocery store.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Frankfurter Gruene Sosse

I've been having a real hankering for a dish my grandmother used to make in spring or early summer.
She grew some of the herbs herself, but they were also sold at the farmer's market.
This is a regional Hessian dish, and she insisted on a certain mix of 7 green herbs, but
I'll need to improvise, and use what I can find here in Alaska!

Here are some of the recipes I found:
First in German (I love the names of the herbs!) with a little background & history:
traditionally eaten on maudy Thursday (called "Green" Thursday in Germany), this dish
dates back several hundred years (Goethe's mom cooked it), and is perhaps based on
a french vinaigrette, to which the germans added sour cream.

  • Man nehme:
  • Petersilie
  • Schnittlauch
  • Kerbel
  • Sauerampfer
  • Dill
  • Borretsch
  • Kresse
  • Estragon
  • Liebstöckel
  • Zitronenmelisse
  • 2 Zwiebeln
  • 4 Eier, hartgekocht
  • 1 Esslöffel Essig
  • 2 Esslöffel Öl
  • 1/4 Liter Schmand o. saure Sahne
  • 150 Gramm Joghurt
  • 1 Prise Zucker
  • Salz
  • Pfeffer

Alle Kräuter (ca. 300 g) verlesen, gründlich waschen und abtropfen lassen. Zusammen mit den abgezogenen Zwiebeln recht fein wiegen oder hacken und in eine große Schüssel geben. Mit Essig, Öl, Schmand und Joghurt verrühren, mit Salz und Pfeffer würzen. Zugedeckt an einem kühlen Ort mindestens! 1 Stunde durchziehen lassen. Danach die hartgekochten Eier grob hacken und unterrühren. Nochmals mit Salz, Pfeffer und eventuell etwas Zucker abschmecken, etwa 15 Minuten durchziehen lassen und zu Pellkartoffeln servieren.
Info: Für die berühmt gewordene Frankfurter Grüne Sauce, die in ganz Hessen bekannt ist, gibt es unterschiedliche Zubereitungsarten. Man kann z.B. die hartgekochten Eigelb auslösen, durch ein Sieb streichen, zunächst mit Essig und Öl verrühren und erst dann alle anderen Zutaten unterrühren. Es gibt auch Rezpete nur mit Öl anstelle der sauren Sahne. Unser Rezept ist ein seit vielen Jahren bewährtes und beliebtes Familienrezept. Unerläßlich ist in jedem Fall die Mischung aus mindestens sieben frischen Kräutern. Im Frankfurter Raum werden die Kräuter in der richtigen Zusammensetzung im Frühjahr und Sommer fertig abgepackt auf Wochenmärkten und in Gemüsegeschäften als Frankfurter Grüne Soße angeboten. In vielen Familien ist die Grüne Sauce zusammen mit Pellkartoffeln das traditionelle Essen an Gründonnerstag. Sie schmeckt aber auch hervorragend im Sommer zu kaltem gekochten Rindfleisch oder Fisch. Man kennt diese Sauce in Frankfurt bereits seit mehr als hundert Jahren. Schon Goethe soll sie bei seiner Mutter, Frau Aja, ganz besonders gern gegessen haben. Ein gedrucktes Rezept erschien zum ersten Male 1860 in dem Frankfurter Kochbuch von Wilhelmine Rührig. Der Ursprung dieser Sauce geht vermutlich auf die französische Sauce vinaigrette zurück, die von den Frankfurtern mit ihren heimischen Küchenkräutern und später auch saurer Sahne angereichert wurde.

FRANKFURTER GRUENE SOSSE (Green Sauce from Frankfurt)
3 c Mixed herbs (parsley,
-chives, chervil, borage,
Spinach greens, watercress,
-tarragon, basil,
1 c Sour cream or plain yogurt
2 sm Onions. coarsely chopped
2 tb Cream
2 tb Mayonnaise
3/4 c Low-fat cottage cheese
-(pressed through a fine
In order to smooth curds)
Ground white pepper
Small pinch of sugar
1 To 2 eggs, hardboiled and
-coarsely chopped

Choose all or merely a selection of the herbs and
greens mentioned in the list of ingredients (using the
tarragon more sparingly than the others.) Wash them
thoroughly and drain on paper towels. Coarsely chop
the greens; loosely packed, they should amount to
about 3 cups altogether. Take 2 cups of the greens,
combine with the sour cream or yogurt and the onions,
and puree in the blender or processor; add a few
tablespoons of cream if it doesn't seem to be fluid
enough. The rest of the greens should just be finely
chopped and stirred in a mixing bowl with the puree in
order to give the sauce a little bite. Stir in as much
mayonnaise and low-fat cottage cheese as it takes to
produce a smooth, creamy sauce.

Season with salt, pepper, and a very little sugar.
The hardboiled eggs can either be mixed in with the
sauce or strewn over it as a garnish.

Makes 2 - 3 cups.

From: THE CUISINES OF GERMANY by Horst Scharfenberg
ISBN 0-671-63197-7. Poseidon Press, Simon & Schuster,
New York. 1989. Posted by: Karin Brewer, Cooking Echo,

(Frankfurt Green Sauce)

parsley, one bunch
4 eggs
4 small potatoes
100 grams of sour cream
100 grams of curd
125 grams of yogurt
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon mustard
Juice of one lemon
salt and pepper

Pick and wash herbs and cut them finely. Boil the eggs (hard) and the potatoes. Mix the curd with the yogurt, add salt, pepper and mustard then lemon juice. Mix with the herbs. Let the eggs cool, then cut them into small pieces and add them to the herb mixture. Serve with the potatoes while they are still warm. Serves 2.


  1. Yum! My MIL made this recently with boiled potatoes, smoked trout and salmon and grilled vegetables and it was really good.

  2. Oh my this loos great! We are having a French/German Monday challenge on my site, and I was going to use your 'Spaetzle' post in my blog today, as a fine example of making it for next week!

    I love your site...googled Spaetzle and found you!

  3. OK...I noticed right off the inclusion of Basil in Gruenesosse. Ask any hardened Frankfurter, and they will tell you point-blank: BASIL IS NEVER USED IN FRANKFURT GREEN SAUCE. The most traditional herbs are: borage, chervil, cress, parsley, burnet, sorrel and chives.There is, in fact, a monument to these 7 herbs in Hesse. Also acceptable, depending on personal taste: lemon balm, dill, winter savoury, dill, or lovage. These additions, however, should not sompletely replace the original 7, but should be used sparingly.
    If you're gonna advocate using basil in a creamy green sauce, please do not call it Frankfurter Gruene Sosse. Call it genovese pesto, maybe...

  4. Simply 'using what you have available or 'winging it with traditional recipes is how you end up with an mis-educated public. This leads to the far greater tragedy of entire generations of people accepting such horrors as using BASIL in a GERMAN SAUCE. THINK ABOUT IT.
    (from wikipedia)
    Basil (Ocimum basilicum) (pronounced /ˈbæzəl/ or /ˈbeɪzəl/), of the family Lamiaceae (mints), is a tender low-growing herb. Basil is a culinary herb prominently featured in Italian cuisine, and also plays a major role in the Northeast Asian cuisine of Taiwan and the Southeast Asian cuisines of Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Basil is originally native to Iran, India and other tropical regions of Asia, having been cultivated there for more than 5,000 years.

    See this great article about FGS:

    Toby-English born, German naturalised hardened Germanophile and food purist.

  5. Toby -- I guess you need to take that up with the author of CUISINES OF GERMANY.
    I agree with you that Basil is NOT traditionally used in German cooking. But I don't agree that there is something wrong with "winging it" and making substitutions.
    When Germans (and other nationalities) live abroad and cannot get the authentic ingredients, they will make substitutions. I grew up all over the world, and I remember my mother once making "Apfelkuchen" from Chayote squash in the Philippines -- of course we knew it wasn't the real thing, but it was very special to us kids because we missed that dish so very much!
    Here in Alaska I cannot find the 7 traditional herbs, and I cannot even find the seeds to grow them myself (and it's illegal to import them)!
    So I will continue to make substitions -- keeping basil to a minimum as it's so overpowering, as well as disclosing to my family that my FGS does not have all the "authentic" ingredients -- but please allow us the chance to enjoy this dish as part of our German heritage -- I'll even call it "Mock" or Alaskan FGS for the purist.