This simple but classic dish combines quark with a good helping of flax oil and boiled potatoes. It is such a healthy springtime meal.
With spring just around the corner, we are now craving lighter dishes. German quark with flax oil and boiled potatoes is something that we like to eat often now.
But not just early in the year. Really, any time we are looking for a quick and healthy dish, this is our go-to recipe.
My grandparents and parents would make it often, so I do have some very fond childhood memories around it.
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Why you’ll love quark with flax oil and boiled potatoes
As I said above, this dish is very light but healthy.
However, you need to try it to really appreciate it!
Quark is a German type of soft cheese that is full of good proteins.
Of course, this would hardly be a German meal if it didn’t include potatoes. They add good complex carbohydrates – and a nice backbone for this meal.
And you know something is the ‘real thing’ if you can look it up on Wikipedia (albeit only in German).
What is are the ingredient for quark with flax oil and potatoes
Here are the ingredients and how you can find them:
This soft, fresh cheese is a staple in Germany. So much so, that it is very inexpensive there. Since living here in the US, I have had varying luck trying to purchase it in stores. When I was able to find it, I almost always balked at the price. Therefore, I figured out how to make my own. Here is the easy tutorial. If would rather purchase it, you can find it here.
I love adding flax seeds to my breads and cereals but flaxseed oil is another great way to reap its health benefits. With its golden-brown color, you get the nutty flavor and distinct taste that is so essential for this dish. While in Germany, we often get it fresh-pressed at the farmer’s market. Here in the US, I have been buying this brand since it is high quality, cold-pressed, and organic.
The classic way to serve them is boiled and then peeled. Since there are only such few ingredients in this dish, each one stands out quite a bit. Therefore, I recommend buying the best quality potatoes you can find. I really like German Butterballs for their buttery taste and nice yellow color. Yukons would also work well here. Ultimately, you can use any type of potato you can find or have.
How to best boil potatoes:
I recommend barely covering the potatoes with water and boiling them on a low simmer (you can crack the lid to let the heat escape). That way they are less likely to crack and become watery.
You can make quark with flax oil with just potatoes and a sprinkling of salt. I really like to add some fresh herbs and mix them into the quark. Parsley, dill, and chives are great choices but again use what you can find or have on hand!
Useful tools and equipment
While quark with flax oil and potatoes is a really simple dish, there is some equipment that makes preparation a little easier:
- Potato peeling pick: Yes, you can peel the potatoes any way you want. If, on the other hand, you want to peel boiled potatoes more often, I highly recommend a potato peeling pick. It has three skinny tines and makes this job a whole lot easier. Trust a German on this one!
- Mezzaluna: this is called a “Wiegemesser” in German which basically means rocking knife. Luckily, I inherited a hefty one with wooden handles from my grandparents. I find it perfect for chopping herbs and you can find a similar one here.
How to make this dish
Really, this quark with flax oil and potatoes is more about how to assemble it than a traditional recipe. But this is what you do:
- Put the potatoes in a pot and barely cover with water. Over low heat, bring to a gentle boil.
- In the meantime, add about 16 oz of quark to a medium bowl. If it seems kind of dry and sticky, you can add a little bit of milk. Mix it into a soft consistency.
- Finely chop your herbs. One tablespoon of each parsley, chives, and dill is perfect. Feel free to adjust the amount and types of herbs to your liking. Add them to the quark and season with salt. Set this aside.
- When the potatoes are done, drain them, and let them cool off just a bit. Then using a potato peeling pick or fork, peel them.
- To assemble, place some potatoes on a plate and add a good helping of the herb quark. Pour a few tablespoons of flax seed oil over the quark.
- Optional garnishes are English cucumbers, tomatoes, chopped onions or your favorite sides.
Substitutions and variations
Quark can be the most challenging ingredient in this dish.
So, if you would like to find a suitable substitution for this fresh cheese, you can use small curd ricotta. Commercial ricotta is almost always salted, so you won’t need to add additional salt. Sometimes you can find something like “farmer’s cheese” in stores and that would work just as well.
As for the potatoes, I do recommend a more waxy variety. Yes, you can use Russet potatoes but they take longer to cook and tend to fall apart. Even though it wouldn’t be the classical preparation, I guess you can bake the potatoes instead of boiling them.
How to serve quark with flax oil
When we eat this dish, we simply put the quark, the herbs, the potatoes, the flaxseed oil, and any garnishes on the table. Then, everyone can assemble their dish to their liking. I, for example, love to “drown” my quark in flax oil while my husband uses probably less than half of what I use. Similarly, I love to add a lot of herbs to my quark but am okay with not adding any onion. My sons, on the other hand, love the extra crunch that the onions provide.
Homemade Sour Cream
- 8 oz cream
- 2 TBSP cultured buttermilk
- Start with the best quality cream you can afford. Also, the fresher the better, and raw cream gives you great results.
- Pour this into your mason jar or another container. Leave some room at the top.
- To this add about 2 tablespoons of cultured buttermilk. And yes, it has to be cultured. It cannot be the buttermilk you get from adding an acid (lemon juice or vinegar) to milk.
- Stir well to combine the two ingredients. Let this sit at room temperature for about 24 hours or until set and solid.
- If after 24 hours, your ‘sour cream’ is still liquid, leave it for another 12 or 24 hours. Eventually, it will set.When set, place it in the refrigerator where it will even set some more.