Is Bärwurz about to see a renaissance?
Culinary specialties which are made with wild herbs see a renaissance with an increasing number of lovers of “haute cuisine”. People are fed up with standard dishes in the local restaurants and with worlds of taste that are full of glutamate. Natural and genuine culinary delights find a continuously growing number of followers. Bärwurz also gains more and more importance. Therefore, many courageous restaurant owners like to experiment in their kitchens with this medicinal plant which has been known for many centuries.
Prestigious cuisiniers act as pioneers among this group; this becomes evident in one of the best French restaurants, called “le Bras” whose logo is decorated with a Bärwurz leaf.
On the following pages I would like to present you traditional and contemporary recipes. I invite you to get enchanted by the culinary delights which are provided by this special plant.
Bärwurz cream soup
- Two medium size mealy potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
- One shallot
- Approximately 400 to 500 ml vegetable broth
- Two tablespoons of crème fraîche
- Butter, salt, pepper from a mill
- As requested a little quantity of Worcestershire sauce and some nutmeg
- Plenty of young Bärwurz leaves
- For the croutons: Baguette slices, olive oil, freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Cut potatoes and shallots into small pieces and stew in a small quantity of butter. Fill up with broth and cook until soft on a low heat. Then blend all ingredients using a hand blender. Make sure that there is sufficient liquid, otherwise fill up some broth or some milk. Add crème fraîche, also add some butter as required. Heat up well, season with salt and pepper and blend until smooth.
Finely chop the delicate Bärwurz leaves with a sharp blade (remove stems and leaf veins) and add them to the soup immediately. Those who like season with a pinch of nutmeg and a squirt of Worcestershire sauce. No longer boil the soup.
For preparation of the Parmesan croutons put the baguette slices onto a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan. Bake at approximately 180 degrees in the oven until they are light yellow and crunchy. Serve hot with the soup.
In any case use mealy potatoes, because only then the soup will be of creamy consistency. The potatoes must be cooked until they are very soft. By using different quantities of potatoes various consistencies may be achieved; if you serve the soup as a starter you better use less potatoes.
The broth quality is decisive for the soup. It would be ideal to use a homemade broth. If a homemade broth is not available, everybody is free to choose his preferred product which he or she normally uses. If you take less broth and more milk or cream instead, the soup will become more creamy, smooth and richer in content.
With a refining add-in, for example, some pieces of stremel salmon, the soup will become a quite special starter for a meal together with friends.
Those who do not have much time or who do not desire, can do without the shallot and just boil the potato pieces in the broth.
Instead of Parmesan croutons, you can also serve toast or wholemeal bread with homemade herb butter. But you must in any case add Bärwurz!
Kraut & Küche, Marianne Rösner-Leucht
Curd cheese with Bärwurz
- 500 g curd cheese
- 150 g sliced cheese
- 1-2 handful of cut Bärwurz herb
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
Slightly season curd cheese with salt and pepper, add grated sliced cheese and small chopped Bärwurz leaves and give everything a good stir.
Particularly fits well with freshly boiled and peeled potatoes, serve curd cheese with Bärwurz harmoniously together with potatoes on plates, slightly sprinkle with the remaining Bärwurz tops and enjoy your meal!
Smoked char with Bärwurz and germ stuffing
- Fresh char (for 2 persons)
- Beech chips and pine branches
- Mixed herbs with fresh Bärwurz, parsley, thyme
- Salt, pepper, cane sugar, olive oil, white wine
- Herbal bitter
Put beach chips and pine branches in a big pot on the stove over a medium heat. Stuff the fish with fresh herbs, put it onto an aluminium foil, season with salt and pepper, sugar slightly and coat with olive oil, a squirt of white wine and with the herbal bitter. Put the char into the smoke pot showing open to the top and cook for 10-20 minutes.
Serve the fish fileted with a supplement of your choice (freshly boiled rice, potato salad), skilfully arranged on a plate. Enjoy your meal!
As a drink I would recommend a light summerly white wine.
Josef Fehrenbach, Waldhotel Fehrenbach, Hinterzarten
- 250 g curd cheese
- 250 g cream cheese
- 200 g crème fraîche
- A handful each of chopped herbs, such as fennel, Bärwurz, dill, chive and Bärwurz
- A tablespoon each of mustard, salt and pepper
- 100 g cream, oil (as needed)
Carefully mix all ingredients (first without cream), spice with salt and pepper. If the consistency is too stiff, cream and oil can be added.
Ideally suited as dip for fresh vegetables, alternatively also for a Bavarian snack called “Brotzeit” with pretzel.
Maiga Werner “die Verführküche der Kräuter”