Traditional German potato salad is a lot different from the mayonnaise-soaked version that shows up on American plates at most summer barbecues (not that I'm dissing a good American potato salad; as long as it's not the overly goopy supermarket version, it can be really delicious). German potato salad is more vinegar-based and relies on a potato puree to bind the salad together. It's definitely lower in fat than mayonnaise-based salads, yet it still has some added fat elements for flavor (in this case browned butter, so it's BIG flavor), and is both spicy (from mustard) and tangy (from vinegar and pickles).
Next time you want to bring a dish to a picnic, or when you just happen to have a huge stock of potatoes waiting to be used, I recommend giving this a recipe a try.
German Potato Salad
This is a really basic German potato salad recipe. For variations on it, try frying up some bacon with the onions, or throw in some green onions or chives. It's also common to add radishes or cucumber. And if you like your potato salad really tangy, feel free to up the amount of vinegar in the dressing.
1/2 lb (1 kilo) Yukon Gold potatoes (vorwiegend festkochende Kartoffeln)
1 Tbsp cumin seeds
1 small onion
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp butter
1-2 dill pickles, diced
1 handful of parsley, chopped
salt and pepper
2 cups (400 ml) chicken broth (vegetable broth can be substituted to make the recipe vegetarian)
4 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp spicy mustard
salt, chili powder, and sugar
1. Boil potatoes in water with a generous pinch of salt and the cumin seeds.
2. When the potatoes are done cooking, let them cool slightly and peel them. Slice into discs.
3. In the meantime, make the dressing by mixing together the heated broth with the red wine vinegar, mustard, and a pinch of salt, chili powder, and sugar.
4. Add approximately one half of one of the boiled and peeled potatoes to the dressing and blend until it becomes a smooth puree. Set aside.
5. Heat oil in a frying pan, and sauté the onion until it is soft.
6. On another burner, brown the butter by heating it slowly until it becomes nutty and brown. When the butter is browned, combine the cooked onions and the butter.
7. Mix the browned butter, onions, and sliced potatoes. Add in the pickles and parsley.
8. Combine the potato mixture with the dressing.
9. Salt and pepper to your taste.
10. Refrigerate before serving.