I’ve been living in Switzerland for ten years now. The move from Australia, where most fresh fruits and vegetables are available all year round, to Switzerland, where the seasons dictate which fresh foods of all sorts are available in the shops, was a massive learning experience, culinarily-speaking. It took me a while and a lot of trial and error but I’ve learned to love (most of) the food of my adopted homeland. I thought I’d share three of my favourite recipes from Switzerland made with ingredients which can be found easily (I think) in non-Swiss supermarkets.
A firm favourite with the Swiss, Nüsslisalat is mainly lamb’s lettuce dressed with tasty extras and a creamy sauce. Toss lamb’s lettuce with fried bacon bits, croutons and roughly chopped hard-boiled egg. Top with a creamy French dressing and enjoy!
Rösti enjoyed 15 minutes of fame during Ready Steady Cook‘s hey day. The speedy chefs on that programme usually served rösti as a side dish but you can make it into a whole, wholesome and hearty meal all by itself with a little effort and by adding cheese, bacon and a soft fried egg.
Par-boil waxy potatoes and leave to cool. While they’re cooling fry off your bacon pieces and drain on a sheet of kitchen roll. Grate a handful of (preferably Swiss) cheese. Peel and grate the cooled potatoes and mix with the bacon pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed frying pan. When butter is bubbling, turn heat down and tip the potato-bacon mixture into the pan. Form into a flat, round shape about an inch thick. Cook slowly, covered, until potatoes form a golden yellow crust underneath and can be flipped. Flip the rösti and sprinkle grated cheese over the golden crust on the top of the rösti while it finishes cooking on the other side. Meanwhile, fry an egg until the yolk is soft.
Serve the freshly cooked rösti on a warm plate with the fried egg on top. Don’t bother counting the calories, just enjoy.
Sausage and cheese salad? This is a dish I wouldn’t have dreamed of ever trying until I was with a friend who told me it was her favourite summery dish. Then, when I did try it, it became one of those dishes I can’t resist when I see it on a lunch menu on a sunny day out. In a restaurant, you can choose between a simple salad (just the sausage and cheese) or garnished (with salady trimmings like beans, corn, beetroot, lettuce etc) and it’s always served with a gorgeous crusty bread to mop up the salad dressing. Mmmmm mmmmmmmmm….
But enough drooling, here’s how you make it. Take some Lyoner sausage or and chop into bite-sized chunks. Chop roughly the same amount of cheese into the same sized chunks and mix together with the sausage. Very finely slice or chop as much or as little onion as you please and add it to the cheese & sausage. Mix all together with a creamy French dressing and a dollop of mild mustard. Season.
Creamy French dressing and mustard is truly the best way to dress this salad but for a healthier (perhaps lower calorie) alternative, mix olive oil with lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Either serve the salad on its own (Einfach/Simple) or over chopped lettuce and various other vegetables. A hard-boiled egg is a great accompaniment. Don’t forget your crusty bread and a glass of crisp white wine.
En guetä! as we say here in Switzerland.