It’s taken me a few tries, but Saucisse aux choux has finally grown on me. With cabbage making up about 40 percent of the ingredients, this Swiss sausage from Vaud has a strong flavor. It also has a relatively soft texture, so the filling nearly squeezes out of the casing when you slice it. I know this all doesn’t sound very appetizing, but now that I’ve figured out the right way to prepare it, I’ve learned to enjoy the taste of cabbage sausage, which has a long history in Switzerland.
The legend of Saucisse aux choux dates back to 879 when a German emperor visited Vaud. Without enough meat to serve their distinguished guest, the locals added some cabbage to the sausage. Today, the cabbage sausage is still popular in Switzerland, earning a protected status—Indication géographique protégée (IGP)—in 2004.
A typical way to eat the sausage, which we’ve tried several times, is steamed with a local white wine over a bed of potatoes and leeks. Known as Papet Vaudois, it’s extremely easy to make. For the Betty Bossi recipe I’ve been using, I just substitute dairy-free margarine for the butter.
Over the weekend, I tried a new interpretation of Papet Vaudois, also from Betty Bossi. The traditional cabbage sausage recipe is reinvented as tarte flambée (French), also known as flammkuchen (German). Flammkuchen is an Alsaltian-style thin crust pizza, most typically topped with crème fraîche, onions and lardons. Instead of the usual toppings, I used soy cream (Migros Soja Line Schlagcrème), thinly sliced potatoes, green onions and crumbled Saucisse aux choux.
For the crust, I used my go-to Better Crocker pizza dough recipe and just rolled it extra thin. The flammkuchen recipe calls for 180 grams of crème fraîche, but I used much less, spreading a thinner layer across the dough in hopes it wouldn’t ooze over the edges.
I often make pizza at home, instead using some finely grated extra-firm tofu in place of the cheese. While it absolutely isn’t the same, the finished product looks like cheese and provides some added protein. This Flammkuchen recipe also has the appearance of cheese, even though it’s just very thinly sliced potato layered over soy cream.
Next time I make flammkuchen with potatoes, I’ll add some sliced ham, red onions and rosemary. If you happen to make one of these at home, please let me know how it turns out!