Austrian Pumpkin seed Oil, Graz and Winter Salad

A recent trip to Graz, the capital of Steiermark in Austria inspired me to making this salad. It is perfect after heavy holiday food yet it has its oils in the ingredients. It combines delicate tastes that blend in the mouth. Pear and walnut. Pear and blue cheese as long as you do not choose too strong a cheese. Pumpkin seed oil brings in a new flavour for I’ve earlier used walnut oil.


This recipe is for two

Two handfuls of mixed greens
1 1/2 ripe pear
a handful of walnuts
100 g blue cheese
pumpkin seed oil (or walnut oil)

Mix the salad greens. Peel and slice the pears. Break the walnuts in two or three in the palm of your hand. Sprinkle with oil.
Place the salad on the serving plates and place chunks soft cheese on top of the salad. Serve with a light of medium bodied red wine or water.


Read on if you are interested in learning more about Graz.

I made acquaintance with pumpkin seed oil in Graz, Austria, in late November. I’d visited the town twice before and discovered some of its culinary delights like the spinach gnocchi and had found the region’s cuisine to resemble that of Northern Italy. I was delighted to find the menus in Italian. My German has gotten so rusty! I’m out of practice altogether. Much of the food also resembles German food with sauerkraut and all types of wurst (sausages). This time around I also noticed all the lovely bakeries and chocolatiers. To return to my main point Pumpkin seed oil was a new discovery to me. It was found in all salads giving a nutty fragrant flavour. I couldn’t help but buy some organic pumpkin seed oil and pumpkin seeds home.

The town of Graz is lovely. The old capital of Austria and the second city of the country. It goes 900 hundred years back in history, 1128 the first written documentation. In the 14th century it was the capital of Inner Austria and residence of two emperors, Friedrich III and Archduke Karl II. The town was saved from the World War II bombings thanks to the Castle Hill and was taken on Unesco’s list of World Heritage in 1999.

Annestrasse Graz         Roof Terrasse of KA       Castle Hill Graz
It he river Mur divides the town. Today you can enjoy coffee and dringpks in the Murinsel, a floating island designed by the New York artist Vito Acconci. The Kunsthaus will certainly catch your eye, an ultra-modern art museum designed by Peter Cook and Colin Fournier and built in 2003. There are many more interesting details and sights to discover. Find out more at

kirche Edegger Bakery and Cafe Am Hauptplaz Graz

The European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML) is situated in Graz and the reason for my visit. I participated in a workshop called Languages in Corporate Quality (LINQ). Further on Graz, with a cluster of automotive industry it is a centre for product development. The growth and welfare of the city is also pulled by its universities working tightly with the industries.

The Christmas markets opened during our stay and the central square was filled with stalls, carousels, scent of hot mulled wine, people and Christmas lights.

Graz Nov 2013 SAMSUNG

I took a stroll to the local farmers’ market on Kaiser-Josef-Markt on Saturday morning and would have loved to take home bouquets of mistletoe, Christmas wreaths, pumpkin and other vegetables, flowered and all.


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