In the same way folklore transforms over time, 2018’s Suspiria is a thorough retelling of the classic 1977 Dario Argento Giallo horror. Though both films tell the twisted fairy tale of a beautiful, talented and determined American ballerina coming to an elite, witch-inhabited dance school in Germany, the space between the plot points is distorted and the tone completely shifted. The original is drenched in a vibrant, almost garish color palette and an intense, powerful Goblin soundtrack, while the reimagining directed by Luca Guadagnino is soft and de-saturated with the dreamy, droney sounds of Thom Yorke. More in the Nightmare on Filmstreet review.
Much like the films, this dish is heavily inspired by Snow White. Indeed our heroine, Susie Bannion (played in 1977 by Jessica Harper and in 2018 by Dakota Johnson), is a modern Snow White, who wanders into an enchanted world and has to fight attempts on her life from a jealous crone. As the Grimm brother’s Snow White tale comes from Germany and Suspiria takes place in Berlin, I definitely wanted the dish to have a German leaning, so chose a mixture of vegetables to roast with sausage.
Color is so symbolic in both films, with the sweet ingenues often dressed in white, and red used in violent, jarring ways. The veggies used here are all white: darling little creamer potatoes, fennel, turnips and garlic. To accompany them I made a rich red wine reduction, also reminiscent of the wine Susie’s doctor gives her to drug her when she becomes too suspicious….it’s suspiciously delicious.
Suspiria-inspired Snow White Roasted Vegetables and Sausage with Red Wine Reduction
For the veggies and sausage
1 1/2 pounds yellow creamer potatoes, halved or quartered
2 large bulbs fennel, trimmed and chopped into large chunks
2 medium turnips, peeled and chopped into large chunks
7 large cloves garlic, gently crushed and peeled
2 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 pound peppery or sweet German or Eastern European-style sausage (we made this vegetarian by using Polish-style soy sausages), thickly sliced
Heat oven to 425°. Divide potatoes, fennel, turnips and garlic into two large baking dishes. Drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and white pepper, toss with your hands and spread into a single even layer. Bake for 20 minutes, then stir/flip, making sure to scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the dish, spread evenly again and bake for 20 minutes more.
Meanwhile, heat a little olive oil in a pan and brown the sausage in batches, removing to a plate. After the first 40 minutes of roasting, reduce oven heat to 350° and divide sausage between the dishes. Bake for another 20 minutes. Check the veggies at this point; they should be very soft, some gently caramelized, and the potatoes and turnips not mushy but easily pierced with a fork. Bake another 10-20 minutes until they reach desired doneness. Transfer to a serving dish.
For red wine reduction
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
1 cup vegetable broth
1 cup red wine
In a saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and cook shallot until golden. Add vegetable broth and red wine and stir. Bring to a low simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has reduced to about a third of its volume. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining tablespoon butter.
To serve, spoon vegetables onto a plate and drizzle with the red wine reduction. Serve with warm, crusty bread.
Suspiria is now playing in theatres. For more Horror movie-inspired recipes, check out previous editions of the Witchy Kitchen column!