I visited Austria in September for a wonderful conference in Graz and afterwards I visited a friend in the Austrian wine country of Styria. One of the most famous food products of that area is Pumpkin Seeds and Pumpkin Seed Oil. They permeate the cuisine in many dishes. I ate at a little Gasthouse and had an amazing potato salad with my Styrian Fried Chicken and a wonderful white burgundy wine too. I was so impressed with the flavor of the potato salad and I was given this one, but without amounts. It is basically composed of boiled potatoes, onion, pumpkin seed oil, white wine vinegar and toasted pumpkin seeds. Recently, one of my lovely students from Austria gave me a bottle of that wonderful Pumpkin Seed Oil. So, I recreated the potato salad at home and was delighted to have it turn out perfectly. This is going to be one of the dishes at the Thanksgiving table as I like to add at least one dish from a different cuisine every year to keep things from getting too boring. This is really a delightfully light salad with a mysterious yet delicious taste that you need to try. Be sure to buy a really high quality pumpkin seed oil from a health food store, such as Whole Foods, and it would also really be good as drizzle on Butternut Squash soup. I'm looking for some more uses for Pumpkin Seed Oil as it is wonderful!
Styrian Potato Salad
6 medium Yukon Gold Potatoes, washed
1 medium red onion, minced
1/4 cup White Wine Vinegar (White Balsamic is good)
1/4 cup Pumpkin Seed Oil
1/2 cup Pumpkin Seeds, toasted in a frying pan
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Put the potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, cooking until the potatoes are tender when a knife is inserted (about 1/2 hour - 45 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes). Meanwhile, marinate the onions in the vinegar in a large bowl. When potatoes are ready, peel and cut into chunks. Pour in vinegar and onions, add the Pumpkin Seed Oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with Pumpkin Seeds to serve.
Five Element Analysis
Potatoes belong to the Earth Element so that element is covered. Pumpkin Seeds belong to the Water Element, but the oil belongs to the Wood Element and the Vinegar adds even more. The onion makes sure that the Metal Element is present. Only the Fire Element is missing so this would be a great side dish to a Fire meat, like lamb or if it also accompanies a green salad made with lettuce and tomatoes.