We discover a market. Südbahnhofmarkt. It’s a bit of a walk from our apartment. I can’t quite tell which days it operates and it might be every day, which will be excellent. It sells fruit and vegetables, meat, fish, cheese, baked goods, flowers. All of the things I might want to buy. I will need to learn the Austrian names for the fruit and vegetables because these are definitely not Standard German. Often the German names are easy to translate. Apricot is Aprikose in German. I can do that. However here we call them Marille. I can work out that Grüne Bohnen in German is green beans but Fisolen? There is always pointing until I master the words. This Tuesday, I headed home laden with chard, mushrooms, courgettes, fennel, a beetroot and apricots. Now we have to eat it all before we go away for the weekend. Did I overstretch myself?
Quinoa salad with chard and mushrooms seemed the perfect way to start with my shopping. Remove the stems from a bunch of chard and chop into 2 cm pieces. Set aside the leaves. Cook about 1/2 cup quinoa in vegetable stock using the absorption method, stir through a teaspoon of Dijon mustard and set aside to cool. Sauté a diced onion and a chopped garlic clove, with the chard stems, in olive oil. In a separate pan, sauté sliced mushrooms until lightly browned. I used Eierschwammerl, which I know in German as Pfifferlinge, and chanterelle in French. Add the sliced chard leaves to the mushrooms to wilt. Stir the onions and the mushrooms through the quinoa and serve with crumbled feta.
There were green and yellow courgettes and scallopini at the market. I didn’t really need all of them at once, so two meals were required. First up was risotto. Sauté a diced onion in olive oil until translucent. Add diced courgette and cook about 5 minutes. Stir in a 1/2 cup of arborio rice with minced garlic and cook a few minutes. Add 1/2 cup of wine and stir until it has been absorbed. Turn the heat to low and add about 1 1/2 cups of hot vegetable stock, about 1/2 a cup at a time, stirring until each cup is absorbed. When the rice feels done, season and add zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon, parsley and Parmesan. Remove trom the heat. Add a knob of butter, cover and rest five minutes. Serve with extra Parmesan.
Along with quinoa and Arborio rice I have penne pasta so that was the base for the next courgette dish. I think it would be nice with fusilli pasta. Cook about 120g penne according to the instructions on the packet. Mine was 9 minutes. Season chunks of courgette with salt and pepper and sauté in olive oil until golden but not soft. Remove from the pan and set aside. In the oil, gently heat for about 30 seconds crushed garlic and chilli flakes and return the courgettes to the pan with the juice and zest of half a lemon. Add the drained pasta to the pan with about 1/2 cup of the pasta water and grated parmesan. Serve with fresh herbs – mint, basil, chives, parsley and more Parmesan.
One of the things we seem to have here is leftover bread. And tomatoes are plentiful so it seems a good idea to make a panzanella. Start by sawing the bread into a few pieces that will fit into a bowl? Have I mentioned that we have no mixing bowls and one small serving bowl? Luckily we have a range of saucepans. Thinly slice a red onion and layer over the bread. Pour on cold water, cover and let sit for 20 minutes. This will soften the bread and remove the sharpness from the onion. Drain the bread, squeeze out excess water and crumble into a bowl/saucepan with the drained onion. Add chopped tomatoes, basil and parsley. Make a vinaigrette with olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper. I have a range of vinegars at home but wanted to have one all purpose vinegar here, so I bought a white vinegar with herbs, seven herbs actually. It is very good. Mix the vinaigrette with the salad and let sit 10 minutes. Add feta cheese and black olives to serve.
You will notice that I have not used the beetroot or the fennel. They are wrapped in beeswax cloths in the fridge and I hope they are still fresh when we return from our weeked in Nottingham.