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Simple German (Swabian) Potato Salad ~ Schwäbischer Kartoffelsalat

Schwäbischer Kartoffelsalat is a simple German Potato Salad hailing from the Swabian region of Germany that features sliced potatoes, minced onions, hot broth, oil, vinegar, and fresh parsley.

Simple German Potato Salad {Schwäbischer Kartoffelsalat} ~ hailing from the Swabian region of Germany, this delicious recipe features sliced potatoes, minced onions, hot broth, oil, vinegar, and fresh parsley! | FiveHeartHome.com

It’s potato salad season, friends! And seeing as how I’ve shared recipes for Classic Potato Salad and German Potato Salad (the hot bacon/vinegar kind) in summers past, it’s high time I share the traditional type of potato salad found in the region of Germany where my mom grew up and where my relatives still live today: Schwäbischer Kartoffelsalat!

(Aren’t German words fun? So many letters, so little time…)

Swabia is a region in southern Germany (think Stuttgart) where my mom’s side of the family originates and still lives today. Every few years we go back to visit, and this is the type of potato salad we frequently enjoy on each trip, whether made by my grandmother, aunt, cousins, or served in a biergarten or restaurant. Ironically, it’s not the kind of potato salad that my mom always made when I was growing up…she (*gasp*) Americanized her potato salad recipe by adding some mayonnaise. Additionally, this Schwäbischer Kartoffelsalat is different than the bacon-vinegar potato salad sometimes associated with the Bavarian region of Germany (hello, Oktoberfest!).

Simple German Potato Salad {Schwäbischer Kartoffelsalat} ~ hailing from the Swabian region of Germany, this delicious recipe features sliced potatoes, minced onions, hot broth, oil, vinegar, and fresh parsley! | FiveHeartHome.com

The bottom line is that this Swabian Potato Salad is absolutely delicious in its simplicity and versatility. The potatoes available in Germany are different than those found here in the good ol’ U S of A, so I recommend Yukon golds (or, at the very least, yellow potatoes) as the variety that most closely replicates German potatoes. German potato salad always starts with potatoes that are boiled whole in their skins and then peeled while still hot. As a child, it always amazed me how my mom could hold and peel a steaming potato straight out of the pot, but for us mere mortals, it’s highly advisable to allow the potatoes to slightly cool and then hold each one upright with a fork while peeling with a small paring knife. The skin slips right off so it doesn’t take very long. Then thinly slice the potatoes and douse with well-seasoned beef broth (or chicken broth may be used instead).

Simple German Potato Salad {Schwäbischer Kartoffelsalat} ~ hailing from the Swabian region of Germany, this delicious recipe features sliced potatoes, minced onions, hot broth, oil, vinegar, and fresh parsley! | FiveHeartHome.com

A quick word on this broth-dousing step…the more flavor the better, since the potatoes are going to soak up all of that broth. For me, this either means using some of my treasured homemade stock from the freezer, or splurging just a bit on a better brand of broth at the grocery store. For my every day recipes — soups and stews and such — I usually just buy whatever grocery store brand organic broth that I can find. But when I make a recipe that’s dependent on broth for flavor (like this one), I spend a little more and buy a box of high-quality broth, which tends to be darker and more concentrated (I like the Pacific brand).

The potatoes are left to marinate in the broth along with white wine vinegar, minced onion, salt, and pepper. Then after the potato slices have absorbed all of that delicious flavor, a bit of vegetable oil is stirred in to add richness, the seasonings are adjusted, and the whole shebang is finished off with a shower of chopped fresh parsley. And that’s it! German Potato Salad perfection.

Simple German Potato Salad {Schwäbischer Kartoffelsalat} ~ hailing from the Swabian region of Germany, this delicious recipe features sliced potatoes, minced onions, hot broth, oil, vinegar, and fresh parsley! | FiveHeartHome.com

Now, those of you who know me — whether in real life or as long-time followers of this blog — know that I loathe onions. Yet here you see them, plain as day, on Five Heart Home! Allow me to explain two good reasons for this anomoly:

1. When I recently wrote my cookbook, I begrudgingly had to suck it up and cook with onions, y’all. And don’t tell anyone, but after spending six solid months buying onions and chopping onions and taste-testing recipes including onions, I actually don’t hate them as much as I used to. I KNOW. I never thought I’d see the day.

2. Swabian Potato Salad invariably includes onions. In fact, this wouldn’t be Swabian Potato Salad without ’em! That being said, I always covertly pick out the onions (more like, I scoot them to the side) when I eat potato salad in Germany (shhhhh!). Furthermore, my dear sweet mother always made me my own separate portion of onion-free potato salad when I was a kid. And today, since I’m the head chef and all, I make an onion-free bowl of potato salad for myself in addition to the onion-laden batch for my family. So see? I still avoid (okay, abhor) onions, despite writing a cookbook that does include onions in some of its recipes. But trust me…any onions can always be left out by you fellow onion haters, and that goes for today’s recipe as well! Just don’t tell the Swabians… 😉

Simple German Potato Salad {Schwäbischer Kartoffelsalat} ~ hailing from the Swabian region of Germany, this delicious recipe features sliced potatoes, minced onions, hot broth, oil, vinegar, and fresh parsley! | FiveHeartHome.com

So whether you’re looking for a summer side dish to complement your burgers, barbecue, and picnic fixins’ — or a year-round accompaniment to a big plate of wurst and kraut — Swabian Potato Salad is sure to become a new family favorite! And if you’ve ever traveled to Germany and occasionally find yourself craving that simple, scrumptious kartoffelsalat that you enjoyed with just about every meal, well, this recipe is here to save the day.

Simple German Potato Salad {Schwäbischer Kartoffelsalat} ~ hailing from the Swabian region of Germany, this delicious recipe features sliced potatoes, minced onions, hot broth, oil, vinegar, and fresh parsley! | FiveHeartHome.com

Simple German (Swabian) Potato Salad ~ Schwäbischer Kartoffelsalat

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Simple German (Swabian) Potato Salad ~ Schwäbischer Kartoffelsalat

Schwäbischer Kartoffelsalat is a simple German Potato Salad hailing from the Swabian region of Germany that features sliced potatoes, minced onions, hot broth, oil, vinegar, and fresh parsley.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds small Yukon Gold (or yellow) potatoes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, DIVIDED, plus more to taste
  • 3/4 cup good-quality beef broth (or homemade beef stock), heated until very warm
  • 1 cup minced yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (such as sunflower or canola)
  • Finely chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. Scrub the potatoes and place in a large pot covered with an inch of cold water. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon salt and boil until tender, which will probably take anywhere from 12 to 20 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes. Drain the potatoes and allow to slightly cool.
  2. Once the potatoes are just cool enough to handle, peel them using a small paring knife and cut them into 1/4-inch slices. Place the potato slices in a large bowl and pour the warm beef broth over the top. Top with the minced onion and white wine vinegar. Season with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Use a large spoon to gently stir until all of the potatoes are coated.
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes. Stir in the vegetable oil and the parsley and serve immediately, using a slotted spoon if too much liquid remains at the bottom of the bowl. Alternatively, you may cover and refrigerate the potato salad overnight, then allow it to come to room temperature for 30 minutes before gently stirring and serving.

Notes

I like to use small Yukon Gold potatoes for this recipe (but not new potatoes, since it takes longer to peel a bunch of tiny potatoes). If I can't find Yukon Gold, I use regular yellow potatoes.

The potatoes should be boiled until tender when pierced with a fork but not crumbling and falling apart.

Beef broth/homemade beef stock is preferred, but you may use chicken broth (or homemade chicken stock) if you wish.

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http://www.fivehearthome.com/2016/05/30/simple-german-swabian-potato-salad-schwabischer-kartoffelsalat/

Adapted from Original Schwäbisch cookbook

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Comments

  1. Tessa Hudson says:

    Oooh I LOVE your website!!! Cant wait to make these recipes!! Best website in the world!!!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Awwww…thanks, Tessa! You’re making me blush. 🙂 So happy you found some recipes that appeal to you and I hope you enjoy them when you have a chance to try them! Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

  2. Lynne Wettig says:

    I have this recipe! Many years ago, my husband and I were living in a little town called Marbach am Neckar. He was doing German history research in the Deutsches Literaturarchiv, and at noon the cook would make meals for the researchers (for a minimal fee). Sometimes I would join him and always looked forward to her potato salad. Before we returned to the States, she gave me her recipe. Of course, I had to convert the measurements to those we use in the U. S., but since then, I have been able to successfully make this over and over–and it tastes like that cook’s!

  3. My mother-in-law is from Southern Germany (Ulm) She has no written recipe so nobody knows exactly how to replicate her potato salad. It was passed down to her from her mother. Yours is the most authentic to hers I’ve found. The ingredients and instructions are hers exactly. The only difference is she adds really thinly sliced peeled and sliced English cucumber. Also she has a secret step passed down to her. She boils some noodles beforehand and sti s in some of the pasta water at the end. Just enough to marry the flavors. I can’t wait to try this. Thank you!

    • To clarify the pasta water step, you don’t add any pasta to the potato salad, just a little of the reserved water they were cooked in. You don’t want it soggy so add a little at a time until it looks right. She’ll have everyone tasting it before she serves it to make sure it’s just right. It’s always perfect. Everyone always asks her to make this. It’s a staple on Christmas with fried schnitzel that is drizzled with fresh squeezed lemon juice.

      • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

        Your comment made me smile, Sandy! I’m so glad that this recipe might help you replicate your mother-in-law’s potato salad. I love the idea of adding some thinly sliced cucumbers to Swabian potato salad, and how interesting about the pasta water! I’ll have to try both of those suggestions sometime. Also, I’m very familiar with Ulm and have actually climbed the Ulmer Münster several times in my life! I’ll probably do it again once my kids are old enough to make it all the way up without whining — ha. 😉 Thanks again for taking the time to comment. Hope you have a great week!

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