➤ by Gerhild Fulson
Traditional in Spring in Frankfurt is this delicious cold herb sauce called Grüne Sosse, literally Green Sauce.
Since the fresh herbs that are used in the traditional Frankfurter green sauce recipe are available in the springtime, this is also served on Maundy Thursday (the Thursday before Good Friday), which in German is Gründonnerstag (literally, Green Thursday), making this green sauce a perfect choice.
With seven different kinds of herbs, this easy-to-make sauce is served with hard-boiled eggs and Pellkartoffeln. Pellkartoffeln are boiled potatoes, usually new ones with thin skins, that have been cooked in their skins, then peeled and served.
This famous German sauce was apparently renowned author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's favourite dish. A famous myth is that Grüne Sosse was invented by his mother. The first Frankfurter Green Sauce recipe was published in 1860 in a cookbook by Wilhelmine Rührig, almost 30 years after Goethe's death.
You may notice that there's a similarity between Frankfurter green sauce and the Italian salsa verde. Perhaps that's because the Frankfurter one stems from Italy, as evidence suggests that it was introduced in Frankfurt by Italian trading families around 1700.
Germans decided to replace the vinegar and oil with cream. Naturally. Germans LOVE their cream!
Originally the sauce used mayonnaise, but that's changed over the years. Now there are variations that use combinations of quark, sour cream, plain yogurt, buttermilk, or crème fraîche. Of course, in each one of these, using full-fat varieties is key to the wonderful flavor.
Can you use low-fat or no-fat? Of course. But, the taste definitely will be lacking.
The springtime herbs are:
In Germany, all it takes is a trip to the market, and you'll find just what you need, already prepackaged for you to take home and use.
Outside of Germany, some of these herbs can be really difficult to find.
One alternative, if you're really wanting to make the original Frankfurter Green Sauce recipe (also called Grie Soß in the dialect of Frankfurt, Hessen), is you could grow the herbs yourself. The seeds can be purchased online.
Alternatively, you can do what I do and use substitutes. Will the sauce be identical? Nope. Will it be similar and delicious? Yes!
I never had genuine Frankfurter Gruene Sosse growing up, since I'm not from the Frankfurt area. It’s a recipe I needed to experiment with over here in Canada, since we don’t have access to most of the traditional green sauce herbs used in it.
That’s when I realized substituting other different herbs works. Even if it doesn’t taste the same, it still tastes delicious and brings that springtime freshness to the dinner table.
This famous German food is also a perfect side dish to serve on those hot summer days!
Ideally, find as many of the traditional herbs as you can. If you only have parsley, chives, watercress, and sorrel available, then just use them.
Alternatively, add in others that are your favorites. Here are some that make great substitutes/additions:
Get all your ingredients ready. Choose the traditional herbs or your favorites. I only had parsley, dill, and chives available, so I used them.
Remove the egg yolk from 4 hard-boiled eggs and place them in a blender (or food processor if you don't have a blender). Chop up the egg whites into very small pieces and set them aside.
Add plain Greek yogurt, sour cream, lemon juice, oil, chopped green onions, 3 cups of your chosen herb mixture, and a bit of sugar to the blender and mix till smooth.
Season with salt and pepper.
Cover and put the sauce in the fridge for at least one hour.
Stir in the chopped egg whites and refrigerate for at least another 30 minutes.
One of our Kaffeeklatschers, Thea Justen, sent in her Mom's recipe that uses herbs Thea has available, yet she makes hers without a blender.
Her recipe is slightly different, yet so yummy as well. Take a look at hers and compare with mine below.
The most traditional way is to serve the cold sauce with hot boiled potatoes and hard-boiled eggs. However, there are a few other ways to serve green sauce:
* * * * *