As I mentioned in a previous post (Schupfnudeln), the potato is a “cherished” staple ingredient in the German cuisine. You can find a rich variety of potato dishes ranging from savoury to sweet.
Today I am introducing my mother-in-law’s potato salad recipe. You have guessed it. There are many regional versions of this fresh and succulent salad. They might also differ from family to family in the same area. Recipes all over the world are usually passed on from generation to generation, very often with a twist.
For any potato salad dish to be a success though you have to use waxy potatoes. They keep their shape when boiled, and have a nice creamy texture when cooked. Served as a side dish to Schnitzel or Frikadellen (German burger), this salad is also a must in any warm weather get together around a barbecue. It doesn’t have mayonnaise, making it perfect for those summer lunches as it does not spoil if left at room temperature.
One tip: When boiling whole potatoes in their peel, choose them roughly in the same size to make sure they all cook at the same rate. Smaller potatoes will cook more quickly than larger one. If using both in the same batch, remove smaller ones earlier, and let larger ones cook longer.
German Potato Salad
- 1 kg waxy potatoes boiled in their skin
- 1 medium onion 150 g, finely chopped
- 150 g pickled gherkins cut in small cubes
- 125 ml water to cook the onions
- 60 ml white wine vinegar
- 60 ml sunflower oil
- 1 ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Scrub the potatoes clean with paper towel, and transfer to a large pot. Add enough cold water to cover. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are done. Begin checking after 10 minutes by poking the potato with a paring knife. Potatoes are done when they are tender all the way through. The knife should easily get through, but not break the potatoes. Don’t over cook.
- Carefully remove the potatoes into a large colander to cool a bit. Peel potatoes while still warm. While the potatoes are cooling, chop the onions and gherkins.
- Cut potatoes in cubes and transfer to a large bowl. Sprinkle with the spices and add the gherkins.
- Add the onions and 125 ml cold water to a small pot. Bring to a boil and let cook, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Pour immediately (with the water) over the warm potatoes.
- Add the oil and vinegar and toss to combine. Adjust taste if needed. Let stand for 30 minutes before serving. Taste best when lukewarm or at room temperature