Thursday, July 1, 2010

Oma Ingrid's German Potato Salad

The cooking was simple in my family growing up. Uncomplicated meals that were balanced, but nothing fancy were the norm. The garden provided whatever vegetables were in season. Potatoes were a staple, but we also had pasta and rice on occasion. Meat was mostly pork, beef or chicken. My mom did not rely on pre-packaged mixes, so everything she cooked for us was made from scratch. 

I love her meals and still consider it a special treat the occasional time I get to fly home and she cooks for me. There are certain things only she can make properly, no matter how hard I try. It must be the extra touch mom's add to their cooking that makes it so special.

I didn't grow up with mayonnaise based potato salad, the one I grew up eating all my life had a vinegar dressing. My mom made, and still makes this salad to this day, and there are hardly ever any leftovers when it is served at the dinner table.

This salad is very simple, but full of flavor. It starts by cooking whole Yukon gold potatoes (or any other waxy potato variant) in their skin by steaming them. Once cooked, they are peeled while still fairly hot, cut up, and immediately dressed with oil, vinegar and vegetable broth. The hot potato acts like a sponge and soaks up the flavor of the dressing. Mustard, onions and spices round out the seasonings, and finally a good sprinkling of fresh parsley and chives are added for the finishing touch.

This salad is my go to salad, especially when the meat I'm serving alongside is heavy (like ribs or Bratwurst) or when I have mayo based side dishes like coleslaw. My kids have come to love Oma Ingrid's salad as much as I do, and my husband prefers this variation over other versions as well. I hope you'll give this one a try, and you and your family love it as much as we do. Why not add a little piece of Franconia to your dinner table?

Oma Ingrid's German Potato Salad

2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/4 - 1/3 cup hot vegetable broth (water with a vegetable bullion cube dissolved)
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon brown deli mustard
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 tablespoons parsley, minced
2 tablespoons chives, finely chopped

Wash potatoes, place in a double boiler/steamer basket over hot water and cook until tender. Remove and let cool for about 5 minutes, then peel and cut into quarters which are then cut into 1/8 inch slices and place in a large bowl.

Immediately after slicing the potatoes, add the oil, vinegars, and 1/4 cup of the broth. Carefully toss to coat. Add onions, mustard, herbs, and season with salt and pepper. If your potato salad seems dry, add the rest of the broth. Serve or refrigerate until ready for use.

Adapted from: my mom


  1. Oh goodness, you have no idea how awesome this is. My husband's grandparents immigrated from Austria, and he is always talking about growing up with Omi's amazing food. Her potato salad is one of the things he misses most. Omi passed away before I could meet her, so I never got to learn any of her amazing recipes. I'm going to try this one next week - I have a feeling he's going to love it. Thanks!

    Got any other pieces of German gold up your sleeve? He's also got a thing for schnitzel and spaetzle.

  2. Mmmm. I've been waiting for this one. I'll try it this weekend as I'm having a cookout.

  3. What a lovely and straightforward recipe. My husband's mother made a salad similar to this but bacon was tucked in among her ingredients. Have a wonderful day, Susi. Blessings...Mary

  4. Bratwurst mt Kartoffelsalat gab es bei uns gestern Abend. Das schmeckt immer und mal leider wieder keine Reste fuers Mittagessen, da es so lecker war.
    Bei mir kommen noch Speck, Gewuerzgurken und Radieschen dazu.

  5. mw - I make Schnitzel and Spaetzle all the time, and they are on my list of things to post about! In fact my mom makes the best meal of Kaese (cheese) spaetzle and German Cucumber salad, YUM

    Rocquie - I knew you were waiting for this one, hope you like it as much as we do.

    Mary - I've had the potato salad with bacon before as well but I think it is a regional thing :o) Thanks for stopping by

  6. Kirsten - wir hatten Bratwurst und Kartoffelsalat am Sonntag. Speck und Gewuerzgurken ist fuer Unterfranken nicht so typisch. Es schmeckt aber bestimmt auch klasse. Ich liebe Radieschen, erinnert mich immer an meine Kindergartenzeit wo ich Butterbrot mit Radieschen und Salt so gerne als Pausenbrot hatte.

  7. Mhmm... schaut lecker aus! Werde ich wohl am Wochenende auch mal wieder machen :-) Viele Grüße Isabel

  8. yumm potatoes!
    this recipe looks much better than most potato salads I'm used to. This looks perfect for a barbeque!

  9. I have a bunch of potatoes and a lunch I have to bring a salad to this weekend - this would be a great solution!!

  10. I've bookmarked this wonderful recipe for summer (is the middle of winter here). It would be great for our Christmas Dinner in the heat - just the season when new potatoes are available. Many thanks for sharing your Oma's recipe

  11. Isabel - Du oder die Mama?

    Jessica - it is great for a bbq :o)

    Deborah - I hope you like it if you end up making it

    Mickle in NZ - thanks for stopping by, this salad is even better with new potatoes! :o)

  12. I adore German potato salad; I love the vinegar and the fact that it does much better in the sun! Beautiful photos.

  13. mmmmmm i can't wait to try this. i LOVE german tater salad and unfortunately could eat buckets of it. :D

  14. You are right... this is so much different then the image of the traditional potato salad that I have in my head... love the vinaigrette.

  15. Yes! Yes, darn it! This is the genuine 'German' or Austrian Kortoffel Salat that I've been looking for, for perhaps 30+ years.
    In most cases, web searches turn up a hot, sour salad, full of bacon and vinegar. This is a pleasant relief: Just potatoes, a light dressing and no mayo, no bacon fat and can easily be seved cold. (Just try that with a bacon fat salad - one has to cut the grease with a knife!(Thank you!!)

  16. What a great recipe! Made this for dinner along with rotkohl and a pork roast... Perfection!

  17. Yep, this is the recipe I've been looking for - making it tonight - thanks!

    My mom makes the best scalloped potatoes and no matter how many times I try to recreate it, hers are still the best. :D

  18. Wow, my boyfriend goes on and on about Austrians and their potato salads, that its the one thing he always has to have when in Austria.. Now we can make them with this recipe.. Thanks a lot!!

  19. I really loved this!

  20. After our trip to Germany, I was looking for a recipe for potato salad similar to the potato salad we had in Germany. This recipe was a match. My husband and all three of my kids loved it.

  21. Finally found my friend's recipe, who lives in Bavaria...thanks for sharing yours Oma's!!!!

  22. Just set it in the fridge to cool. So far it seems wonderful. My family is about 30 minutes south of Stuttgatt and there were no pickles, eggs, mayo or bacon in their potato salads. Next time I'm there, I'll have to see if my aunt makes it the same way.

  23. I just made potato salad yesterday with almost the same exact ingredients. I will definitely try this next time!

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