Lately we have been eating very simple meals. It’s finally summer and on most days we’ve been craving light and easy food. Plus, we have been on vacation. We made a trip to the island of Rügen. While it’s really beautiful there, it’s not the best place to visit when you are vegetarian or vegan. We were able to choose between fish restaurants and Italian restaurants. I had to make the experience that spaghetti aglio e olio sometimes means spaghetti with very old garlic and lots of cheap vegetable oil. We also suspected that P.’s pizza crust wasn’t even homemade. So after that experience we decided to fix our own dinners and kept them pretty simple: lots of pasta or rice with vegetables, salads, and fresh fruit. A strawberry stand with perfectly ripe fruit made up for the poor choice of restaurants.
And we got to see the beach. Rügen is really big and has so many interesting spots. It’s hard to see them all in one week. Especially when there’s a problem with your rental car on one day and your kid pukes all over the new car on the next day. Okay to be fair, she only hit herself and her car seat. I have always admired this kid’s cheerfulness: as soon as we had taken off her dirty clothes, she smiled at us and acted like nothing had happened.
Anyway, we still managed to take some beautiful pictures.
This was the first vacation for our daughter and we found out that she doesn’t really like long walks along the beach or through woods. She usually got bored after five minutes or was even scared by the waves. I guess she’s a real city kid. It’s not that this town is a concrete hell, Dresden is surrounded by a large forest, we have a river and some mountains close by. But F. is used to see houses, cars, and people. We once or twice tried to make a walk through the forest. But even though F. is very relaxed and even-tempered on most days, she freaked out every time she saw a tree.
Maybe she’s afraid of the trees or the way the light shines though the leaves. It was similar when we went to the beach. She can tolerate three firefighter car sirens in a row, but was scared of the sounds the waves made. But as soon as we left the beach and were surrounded by people again, F. would get very exited and smile and wave at everyone she saw. I think I have never made so much small talk in my whole life before. Probably half of the tourists now know her name and age.
We had to leave on Monday and even though the weather was really nice on most days with temperatures around 18°C to 20°C, Sunday and Monday were just windy, dark, and rainy. It’s weird to come back to Dresden where the temperatures are around 30°C again.
So we are back and we are sweating. And I don’t feel like spending time in the kitchen at all. Which is why we try to eat food which requires very little active preparation time. And this is how this salad came to be. It’s made with two German staples: potatoes and bratwurst. The potatoes are roasted to give them more flavour and the bratwurst recipe is the one used in my currywurst recipe. You can make the sausages in advance and refridgerate or freeze them. That way the salad can be trown together in about 20 minutes. Served with some fresh bread and maybe a dip or two, this makes a great weekday dinner. The dressing goes along very well with the arugula and it also adds lots of flavour to the sausage bites, which are briefly marinated in it.
Potato Salad with Bratwurst and Rucola (serves 2)
1 -2 bratwurst links (recipe here)
440 g (1 lb) waxy potatoes, peeled and quartered (into wedges)
100 g (5 cups) arugula, roughly chopped
1 red onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided plus more oil for brushing
For the dressing:
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon agave nectar, or to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons minced parsley
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 250°C (480°F). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the potatoes on the sheet, brush with oil, and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until they have started to brown and look crispy.
Slice the sausage into 1/2 cm (1/4 inch) thick slices. Heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a pan and over medium heat fry the onion for about five minutes. Remove from pan and transfer to a plate. Add another 1/2 tablespoon oil to the pan and fry the sausage pieces until crispy. While you fry the sausage, prepare the dressing by whisking together all the ingredients. Remove 1/3 of the dressing and set aside. Stir the fried onion into the remaining dressing and add the sausage pieces as soon as they are done. Stir well. Add the arugula and mix everything well. When the potatoes are done, let them cool for five minutes then add them to the salad as well. Add salt, pepper, and reserved dressing to taste. Serve immediately.