Today I want to share a recipe for one of my most loved dinners there are. Boiled potatoes with Quark and linseed oil – it does sound rather simple at first. And it actually is. It is the so called poor peoples food from a region called Lusiata.
Lusiatia is a historical region in Central Europe split between Germany and Poland. It is the region I grew up in. I shared a little last year when I took you on a stroll through Noßdorf. The region itself is full of great landscapes.
We have the so called Spreewald here – an area with canals through woods and meadows from the river Spree that you can travel by boat. It is home to an ethnic group called sorbs. They are crafty people if you remember my Sorbian Easter Eggs. There are also sand dunes and deep forests.
The first traces of this very simple but delicious dish can be found in the middle of the 18th century, when Frederick the Great brought the potato to the fields of Brandenburg and Prussia by a trick. Skeptical of the new crop, the interest of Lusatian farmers developed slowly when the king had them mock-guarded in large fields around Berlin. In night and fog operations, the farmers now stole plants to use in their fields. Frederick had achieved his goal: potato cultivation began in Lusatia and in only a short time the nutritious tuber developed into the main source of food for the simple population.
There is a saying by Oskar Lukas “Was macht den Lausitzer stark? Pellkartoffeln, Leineel und Quark.“ Roughly translated to “What makes the Lusatian strong? Boiled potatoes, linseed oil and quark.” – which rhymes in German
Anyway growing up this dish was on the table most every week. and today it is still when its up to me. It is a healthy dish for sure.
Potatoes – The great tubers saturate long-lasting due to their high content of carbohydrates, with a very low fat content at the same time. In addition, they contain many valuable fibers, protein, vitamins, minerals and secondary plant substances.
Quark – Quark makes you strong! The protein-rich dairy product strengthens bones, supports muscle development and ensures a balanced intestinal flora.
Linseed oil – The oil extracted from linseed is well-deservedly called “liquid gold” because it contains more valuable essential fatty acids than almost any other edible oil. These fats are vital for the human body, but it cannot produce them itself.
And in case you are wondering its gluten-free and vegetarian.
Ingredients you need for four servings
- 500 g quark
- 1 kg potatoes, smaller size
- lineoil seed – preferable from Lusatia (at times this may be called flaxseed oil. should be the same)
- spring onions alternative chives
- optional: tomoates
Wash the potatoes – I usually eat them with skin but you can peel them after boiling if you prefer. Put them into a pot and boil until you can easily spike them with a fork.
While the potatoes boil mix in a bowl the quark, salt and add milk and oil and whip until smooth. It should have a constancy of greek yoghurt or pudding.
Note: linseed oil has a very unique taste. If you are not familiar you can leave it out of the quark mixture and drizzle on top instead to taste.
I personally prefer to serve this dish with a side of tomato sometimes as a salad with added onions.
Serve potatoes with a quark, drizzle with linseed oil and top with cut spring onions.
This dish is really great if you need a quick dinner, for hot weather, when budget is tight and when you have to serve gluten free all of a sudden.
I hope you enjoy this favorite of mine and let me know when you tried it.
Sources: Lausitz Stark
Oh yes, I know and like this, too. Since I can’t find quark here (or only at exorbitant prices) I sometimes use a m ix of Greek yogurt and sour cream instead. My grandma always added chives to the quark what I really like. Sometimes the simple things are the best!
I had hoped that quark was a thing you could get in the States by now. 20 years ago that was a no but today still… I would not survive…
Quark is always on the list of things to eat when I am in Germany. But I did make a “Russischer Zupfkuchen” with Greek yogurt and it came out ok – the little victories.
Yes small victories and greek yoghurt is a good substitute. But only if you know the “true stuff” you can appreciate the right ingredients no matter the taste of substitutes…
This is a very popular (side) dish where I come from, too. We often make it as a side dish for BBQs.
So, you need to explain to me now: do you make it with quark or actually cottage cheese (which is Hüttenkäse, and which is kinda different from the smooth quark texture)… I usually use Greek yogurt here in the US, because quark is harder to find. It’s a great substitute. Jon actually enjoys this dish, too (he did of course not know what it was when I first introduced him and quite taken aback by the combination of potatoes and herbed quark…. although it is similar but healthier than the US equivalent of baked potatoes with sour cream.
Yes I use quark. I never know how to translate it as there as so many suggestions. I guess quark would be the right timer – going to change that.
This dish however – at least in the Lisatia region – is not a side dish but a full meal. And the lineseed oil makes all the difference. Have you had it with lineseed oil?
I don’t think I had it with Linseseed Oil, but I am intrigued to try now. Will have to see if I can find it here.
We don’t have quark here and I don’t think we have linseed oil? Oh wait- I looked it up- we call it flaxseed oil. I love potatoes! This sounds like a very quick and easy dish for a weeknight dinner.
I guess you could use greek yoghurt. it will be slightly different taste. Linesseedoil in combination is actually the best reason to metabolize the great ingredients of the oil. I guess yoghurt will only be able to parts of that. however better than nothing. And I looked it up – you are right it can be called flaxseed oil as well in certain place. I will add that info.
Thanks for sharing this. It’s wonderful to have a little window into other cultures.
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Yes it is. That is why I share some of the simpler recipes that dont feel like being mentioned because they are so everyday like. Those are the things that show culture and regional differences.
Thanks for sharing! I love to eat potatoes too.
Potatoes are the best!
Yum. That looks delicious; a local fromagerie where we live makes delicious quark, but I haven’t had any since pre-pandemic.
Oh fo and get some and make this dish. I would love to hear what you think. It is a unique thing to eat it with linseed oil though.
This sounds really good! Part of me wants to add cornichons to it (not sure why…). I swear I have seen quark in the stores here but did not see it this morning when I stopped in. Hm. I have loved it when I’ve had it in Europe, though. Thanks for sharing not only the recipe but some of the story behind it!
Quark is something I won’t want to live with. I hope you can find it and try this recipe. I think I have seen pickles at some other regions were it is eaten but not the local version I refer too here. Would be interesting to try.