July 01, 2011

The Best Wurst

My friend Lisa is my kind of cook, easy-going and not too particular about quantities or even specific ingredients.  Witness her original recipe here, which calls for "chunks" of most of the ingredients, and a vague "white" cheese for her wonderful Wurst Salade.  I probably haven't ever made this recipe the same way twice, and it STILL tastes great every time!

Lisa's hand-written recipe.
Don't worry about trying to read the recipe card above, I'll type the recipe out again.  You'll be starting with a sausage ring.  I like beef sausage, but you can use any kind you like.  I'd never tried ring sausage before Lisa and I made this salad together one hot summer day in Iowa City.  It just wasn't on my Mom's list of things she liked to cook.  I thought it looked suspiciously fatty, but one bite made me change my mind.  This is good stuff!

You'll also need a pound of "white cheeze, chunked" (Lisa is often a gleefully ironic speller), which can be anything from farmer cheese to provolone to mozzarella.  I used farmer cheese, but if you can't find any, select the white cheese of your choice- probably any kind except Swiss would be fine.


You'll also need 6 tomatoes, so this is a great summer dish to use your homegrown tomatoes.  Our CSA, Foxfire Acres, has a high tunnel for tomatoes, so we've been getting homegrowns practically since the first week of June.  Although the recipe calls for rings of raw onion, I left them out this time.  I don't usually eat them in the finished dish, but they do add a nice flavor.

I decided to use fresh herbs, and cut two large sprigs of basil and oregano.  We didn't grow fresh marjoram, and were out of the dried, so I had to skip that part.  I think I could have doubled the fresh herbs, and the recipe is so fool-proof it was good even without the marjoram.  You'll want to cut the herbs into little shreds if you're using fresh.  Pick the nicest smaller leaves and cut into shreds with either scissors or use a sharp knife and rock it across the leaves you've set on your cutting board. 


Ready to serve!

Here is how I adapted Lisa's recipe:

Lisa's Wurst Salade

1 ring beef sausage
1 pound farmer cheese, cubed
6 tomatoes, cut into bite-size chunks
1 onion, cut into rings- optional
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon dried basil OR 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano OR 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
1 tablespoon dried marjoram OR 2 tablespoons fresh marjoram, chopped

1.  Fry up the sausage in a non-stick frypan.  Cool and cut into bite-size chunks;  place in a large serving bowl.

2.  Add cheese, tomatoes and (optionally) onions. 

3.  Mix vinegar and oil together. Whisk in herbs.  Pour vinegar/oil dressing over salad ingredients.

Note:  Jeffrey thought that there was too much dressing for the amount of salad, but the amount specified marinates the salad ingredients and keeps the dish from being too dry.  This salad tastes even better after soaking in the dressing overnight (if you can wait that long!).  Fast and easy to prepare, this is a winner for potlucks and summer picnics.

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