Salzburg Bauernsalat

On a recent, sizzling hot summer trip to Salzburg, Austria, the city was throbbing with tourists so we donned hiking shoes and day packs before heading out to catch an early morning train to Golling in search of solitude and the cooling spray of Golling Waterfall.  En-route to the station, we stopped at the weekly Thursday morning Schrannenmarkt to buy snacks.  In existence since 1906, the third largest market in Austria teems with locals buying fresh produce, baked goods, meats, cheeses, plants and numerous other offerings from the almost 200 local farmers selling their wares.

Upon disembarking at the tiny, unmanned Golling station, nary a sign gave evidence that magnificent falls cascaded in the nearby mountains. So, we aimed ourselves towards the distant hills and started walking past fields and beautifully kempt homes with manicured lawns, even passing a horse drawn carriage before we saw signs indicating we were headed in the right direction

An hour later, we found ourselves at the base of what is reputedly one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Austria. Tumbling, in two stages, down 500 feet over a rock wall, it is quite impressive. The path to the top proved relatively easy with stairs at the steepest segments, resting benches and bridges crisscrossing the falls at several points allowing for wonderful picture taking opportunities.

After hiking back down, we stopped at Landgasthaus Torrenerhof.

Starving, but too hot to face a cooked meal, I decided to once again try Bauernsalat (Farmers Salad).  The basic ingredients are lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes, bacon and croutons.  The version I had in downtown Salzburg was quite horrible – undercooked boiled potatoes, flaccid strips of bacon, mealy tomato wedges and tasteless croutons all swimming in a thick mayonnaise dressing.  Serves me right for ordering a farmer’s dish in the heart of tourist city.

When my plate arrived, I was ecstatic.  Fresh, succulent lettuce and tomatoes from local farms topped with cubes of crispy lardon and croutons likely sautéed in the same pan, thinly sliced, caramelized onion and small chunks of perfectly browned potatoes – all lightly drizzled with a thin mayonnaise dressing.  Absolutely delicious. With a glass of wine, it made a perfect end to a lovely day.


AUSTRIAN BAUERNSALAT (FARMER SALAD)
Author: 
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • SALAD:
  • 1 bunch bib lettuce
  • 2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 2 large potatoes
  • 4 ounces ( 115 grams) slab bacon or lardon, cut into small cubes
  • 2 to 4 slices country-style bread, cut into small cubes
  • 1 large onion, peeled, halved and cut into thin lengthwise slices
  • olive, rapeseed or canola oil for sautéing
  • DRESSING:
  • 6 tablespoons rapeseed or canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Place potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Cook until just tender when inserting a sharp knife into the middle. Drain. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut into bite-size pieces. Set aside.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add cubed slab bacon. Stir frequently and cook until fat renders out and the bacon is slightly browned. If the pan is dry, drizzle in a bit of oil. Add bread cubes and cook until both bacon and bread are nicely browned and crispy. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  3. Add a bit more oil if the pan is dry. Sauté onions, stirring frequently, until they are caramelized. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  4. Add a bit more oil if the pan is dry. Sauté potatoes, stirring frequently, until they are caramelized. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  5. Whisk mayonnaise and vinegar together in a small bowl. Slowly drizzle in 6 tablespoons canola oil. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. To assemble: Arrange clean, dry lettuce leaves and tomato wedges on two plates. Top with potatoes, bacon, onion and croutons. Drizzle with dressing and serve immediately.

 

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