Herbs have a big part in the German cuisine. Two of the most used herb recipes are Herb Butter and Herb Quark. But let me tell you a little bit about the benefits of herbs up front.
Herbs in this recipe
Many herbs have healing potency and can easily keep up with many over the counter relieves. But this said, I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice. If you have health issues, ask your doctor. However, these are the benefits that research has found for several of the herbs that I am using here:
Germany no. 1 herb has a lot of vitamin C and also calms the stomach and digestive system. Always use uncooked, otherwise, it will lose its taste. Add it to meals at the end of the cooking process.
It helps with stomach pain and obstipation (if this is too much Latin: It means a lack of bowel movement). Always use fresh and uncooked.
Oregano and Marjoram
A tea with these herbs helps with stomach cramps and cramps in the lower digestive system. It can also speed up a birth.
Rosemary can be used fresh, dried or cooked. A Rosemary tea can improve headaches, stress and even depression. It is also good to improve blood circulation problems. It si also sayd to be expectorant like when you have a cold, cough or sinus issues.
Use thyme fresh or dried. It helps with problems in the respiratory system like a cough, mild asthma or cold.
Again, ask your doctor if you want to use these herbs for medical improvement and also remember Asclepius: “All things are poison and nothing is withoutpoison; only the dose makes a thing not a poison.”
How to make Herb Butter and Herb Quark
Here is a link for “French Butter Dish” at Amazon.
About Herb Butter (Kräuterbutter)
This might be sort of familiar from Texas Toast: A butter with garlic and herbs on fresh, warm bread. But herb butter has also a different use: We put it on our steaks. And while the parsley is the main ingredient, this tastes just wonderful.
When Germans grill … on the rare occasion of a warm day and always on charcoal despite all health warnings … they will very likely make something like a Texas Toast: We cut deep slices into a baguette and slip a slice of herb butter into every slice. Then we cover the bread with aluminum foil and put it onto the grill to heat the bread and melt the butter.
If we dare to put a steak on the grill, we will definitely also put a thick slice of herb butter on top of it when we serve it. It tastes heavenly and not only helps with digestion: It probably keeps us from suffocating because a steak in Germany never has the quality of a steak here in the US. To say it bluntly: It is a terribly dry and chewy experience, so it needs some lubricant!
If you ever travel to Germany: Skip the steak, stick to our sausages and shanks! Enjoy your steak at home and add this wonderful herb butter to have the full experience of a perfect, delicious piece of meat.
About Herb Quark (Kräuterquark)
I will never forget that summer when my mom decided to feed us with only herb quark and potatoes for weeks. Someone had told her that it is very healthy (which I strongly agree on) and since this fit our budget situation with four kids she was head over heels for it. Well, I hated it! For two reasons:
- A lack of salt in the Quark and the potatoes and the herb she used in the quark was mostly chives and she never really switched to other herbs.
- We ate it every.single.day for weeks – that’s just too much!
Now, many years later I still don’t really am into potatoes and Quark, unless it’s a baked potato. I have a wonderful baked potato recipe (US recipe!) and that tastes delicious with Quark. But we also use Quark with herbs as a bread spread. I love it on my “Schwarzbrot” (black bread) which some Americans mistake for Pumpernickel. Pumpernickel has a bitter taste from lots of molasses in the dough. We also use herb quark with raw carrots, cucumbers etc. as a dip – tastes wonderfull!
If you want your family to like Herb Quark, add enough salt and maybe some garlic. Use herbs that your family agrees on, you can also add some fresh ground black pepper or some tomato paste and a pinch or more of ground paprika can also be delicious – experiment with it!
One of my favorites:
Spread a thick layer of Herb Quark on o slice of whole wheat bread. Then sprinkel some fresh parsley on it an top with a slice of cheese (like gouda or young cheddar).
If you are having a hard time stirring your Quark, just add a little bit of milk or carbonated water.
The German Weight Loss Companies use Quark a lot in their recipes. The reason is that it has little fat (if you use a low-fat milk for it) and lots of protein which keeps you feeling full for a long time. Try it, if you want to get into that jeans or bikini or just feel like you want to do something to improve your health.
Herb Butter and Herb Quark
- 2 sticks butter at room temperature
- 1 a hand full parsley, fresh
- 1 hand full basil, fresh
- some thyme, rosemary, marjoram and oregano - all fresh
- 1 clove garlic
- some salt to taste
- 1 cup Quark
- 1 pinch or more salt
- 1 tsp milk, if needed
- fresh ground black pepper
- 1 clove garlic
- herbs you like, fresh
- Cut the herbs and add to the soft butter.
- Press some garlic through a garlic press and add.
- Add some salt.
- Mix all together and wrap in a sausage shape in some wax paper or add to a jar.
- Repeat with the second butter stick but this time only use the cut basil, salt and garlic.
- Wash and cut the herbs you like.
- Add the herbs to the Quark, also add some fresh pressed garlic and salt to taste.
- Mix all very well and if needed, use some milk ot soften the Quark.
- Let stand in the fridge for at least 10 minutes - longer is better - to fully develop its taste.