This may be the only time that "BACON!" is NOT the answer.
July 22, 2010 6:07 AM   Subscribe

Potato Salad Filter: I am looking for a recipe for a German style potato salad that does not include bacon.

My google-fu is failing me. I have a hankering for a type of potato salad that I had quite frequently when I lived in Germany - a cold, mayonnaise based salad with very thinly sliced potatoes. The delis around here carry a chunky mayo based potato salad with eggs, but it's not the same at all. I would really like to recreate the salad of my memories.

The salad that I remember is distinctly cold. And mayonnaise based. All the recipes I'm getting are for a vinegar based (often hot) salad that contains bacon.

This may be the first time I've ever said this, but please help me find a recipe without bacon.
posted by grapefruitmoon to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Was it something like this? This is the base of any potato salad I've ever made and you can definitely personalize it.
posted by Hiker at 6:14 AM on July 22, 2010

Incidentally, that one involves mashing the potatoes but you can certainly use a mandolin to slice it thin instead.
posted by Hiker at 6:15 AM on July 22, 2010

Response by poster: No, it didn't involve eggs, mustard, or onions. It had some green in it, but I don't think it was pickles. But definitely no eggs or mustard.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:20 AM on July 22, 2010

posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:21 AM on July 22, 2010

In Stuttgart we made it with warmish, thin sliced peeled potatoes. The dressing was very finely chopped onion and parsley whipped into mayo, oil and vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste. Parsley is the key ingredient. Lots of it.
posted by Pennyblack at 6:25 AM on July 22, 2010

Hmm. The only thing I know for sure is it's likely Northern German, because Southern German potato salads are generally the vinegary ones. The green may be celery, or dill perhaps, as I've seen both of those in there. I'm stumped, though!
posted by Hiker at 6:27 AM on July 22, 2010

Response by poster: Yes, I lived in Northern Germany - right on the Dutch border.

Dill sounds very familiar.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:34 AM on July 22, 2010

you know one thing to keep in mind when you try to recreate the recipe is that American potatoes and European potatoes are very different - it might be hard to recapture exactly the experience unless you have access to a good greenmarket with an heirloom potato grower.
posted by JPD at 6:46 AM on July 22, 2010

Best answer: It sounds a lot like the salad we use to make in my family:
  • You need good, starchy potatoes that do not crumble easily and ideally are a rich buttery yellow.
  • Cucumbers, about a third of the mass of the pealed potatoes
  • for the sauce: one half mayonnaise and the other half yoghurt and lots and lots of chopped dill (for a little kick you could add some mustard)
Cook the potatoes and let them cool only shortly. Peel them and cut them up in not too thin slices. Wash the cucumbers and cut them up into thumbnail sized cubes.
Mix the sauce, adding salt and pepper to you liking.
Throw in the warm potatoes and the cucumber cubes.

This salad is great with cooked Wiener sausages. Enjoy!
posted by Glow Bucket at 7:05 AM on July 22, 2010 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Glow Bucket: I don't know if the salad I had contained cucumbers, but that sounds very close and very delicious. Thanks!
posted by grapefruitmoon at 7:59 AM on July 22, 2010

I'll second good potatoes as a must have - you might try the Russian Banana type, it's a yellow fingerling potato, you should be able to find it soonish at farmers' markets. Yukon Golds are also good. However, when I make mayo-based potato salad, I rarely follow a recipe. Boil or steam the potatoes, cool them a bit, peel them or don't, slice them into the shape you want. Mix up a dressing: mayo, yogurt as suggested above if you want, a bit of mustard and a handful of chopped dill. Don't forget salt and pepper. Then mix it up and see if you like it. If it's not what you're looking for exactly, it'll still be delicious dilly potato salad, just make a note of what you put in it and try different proportions or different ingredients next time.
posted by hungrybruno at 7:59 AM on July 22, 2010

I use this for my vegetarian German students (I’m a vegetarian too, so I eat this!)

Just replace the broth with vegetable stock.
posted by vkxmai at 8:24 AM on July 22, 2010

Response by poster: vkxmai: Thanks, but that was what came up for me on all of my searches and is very specifically not the salad I was looking for!
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:25 AM on July 22, 2010

Hm. My mom (who is German) makes this potato salad (I don't have proportions, sorry, its all by taste/feel) and it is, IMHO, the BEST potato salad ever. Cold, mayonnaise based.

Boil a few potatoes. Cool, then shred. (you can peel before hand or leave the skins on as you prefer). We use the same kind of potatoes hungrybruno recommends. Shredding the potatoes makes the whole salad super moist without gobs of extra dressing.
Boil a couple of eggs. Cool & peel and chop fine.
Chop up some dill pickles, nice and fine.
Mix potatoes, pickles, and egg
Add mayonnaise, mixed with just enough dill pickle juice to make it slightly runny. Not too much, enough to moisten everything. Definately more mayo than pickle juice, though I could not give you a ratio if my life depended on it.
Add salt and pepper to taste.

You can also add in things like chopped celery, or peppers (I like red peppers), and sometimes chives or red onion. Depends on what we have and what we feel like.
If you want to get fancy, boil an extra egg and slice thinly but don't chop - when the salad is in the bowl, place the egg slices and tiny baby dills in a pattern around the edge of the bowl, and sprinkle with parsley.

Now I'm hungry for potato salad...
posted by sandraregina at 10:01 AM on July 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

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