Variations of the Well-Known: Potato Salads

Potato salads

There is much talking since a while about urban farming and community gardens, and we just love those topics. Some weeks ago, we started some balcony farming ourselves, much to late in season but with a lot of fun – we will talk about this in some later post. At least, all the herbs for today’s recipes are picked from our balcony’s herbal corner.

Today’s urban shot is about plants in the city as well, like the trees in the last post already – we seem to have some kind of episode with the subject ;-). This one is about microcosm and about the world of tiny greens here and there that we don’t recognize when we pass by because it’s so well-known:

Urban Greens - Berlin Mitte, May 2013

Urban Greens – Berlin Mitte, May 2013

Maybe the little plant got there just by itself and the wind, or maybe it has been some guerrilla gardening seed ball that paved the way for it, in Berlin you never know…

Also in the food world, there are things so well-known that bloggers don’t write about it very often. Like potato salad. By the way, doesn’t the green fellow look a little like a potato plant? Anyway, I never did a post about this most traditional dish, and I will change this today thanks to Puja and her beautiful blog Indiaphile that she runs with her husband Steve. She did a wonderful Indian style cumin-ginger potato salad for some picnic a few days ago, and I mentioned a traditional Swabian potatoe salad with cucumbers in the comments to it. She asked for my favorite recipe for this one – which I haven’t as I have never prepared it myself.

I got to know this salad in my childhood on most beautiful vacations in Southern Germany – it had been a Swabian friend of my North German parents who had prepared it in the big, big kitchen of our Allgau farm holiday’s hosts. That’s quite some local multiculturalism already, isn’t it ;-). I decided to enlarge this project to some international potato salad tasting, and therefor here are three versions: Swabian style, Indian style (Puja’s recipe) and from the Mediterraneans. The latter is inspired by a great Caponata recipe (in German language) of tomatenblütes Sybille: reading it I fell instantly in love with the combination of apricots, capers, and olives, and I thought this would work not just in an eggplant dish.

Thank you so much for the inspiration, Puja, and Sybille!

Here are my recipes

Ingredients for potato salads

Swabian Potato Salad with Cucumbers

Swabian potato salad recipe

This is more a kind of chilly mashed potatoes dish than a properly textured salad. Doesn’t sound too appetizing, right. But it is! On a hot summers day (which are supposed to return), this one is so very refreshing. You might want to peel the cucumber – I never do this normally, but in this case I do as the texture gets softer. You furthermore need to slice the cucumber really thinly (I use a slicer for it, not a knife), as well as the very warm (!) potatoes (here I use the knife, the slicer would be too fine for this one). It’s also better to prepare a couple of hours in advance before eating it as the two main ingredients have to mix well to get that wonderful muddy texture. You might want to add some more dressing right before serving as the potatoes – even though there’s so much cucumber liquid – soak in a lot of the dressing. Great for a barbecue!

Indian Potato Salad with Greek Yoghurt and Warm Spices

Indian potato salad recipe

So rich and warm in taste, you have to try this one! I made tiny changes regarding Puja’s recipe – to see her’s in original, follow the link above. Potatoes need to be cooled down before cutting them into peaces, otherwise they will soak the yoghurt in too much (in case you let rest for some hours to intensify the taste, you might nevertheless want to add a little more yoghurt before serving to get the salad very smooth). How much of the spices you like to add is totally up to one’s ability to stand hot dishes ;-). I like it not too hot. Indeed, great for a picnic!

Mediterranean Potato Salad with Apricots, Pine Nuts and some more

Mediterranean potato salad recipe

Fruity, slightly sweet & sour and with a touch of nuts – great taste as well. Again, potatoes need to be cold for this one, and maybe some creamy buffalo mozzarella would wonderfully fit the whole combination. Or parmigiano. And a glass of wine.

Have a nice weekend!

Potato salads

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16 thoughts on “Variations of the Well-Known: Potato Salads

  1. You are right. The basic recipes are the most important! :-) I like your new implement of the ingridients in the picture, very helpful. And I’m definitely going to try the mediterranean one! Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. Potato salad in different variations is one of my favorite summer dishes. The other day I tried a lukewarm one from roast potatoes – delicious! Sometime I’ll post the recipe. Meanwhile I’ll try your variations. Like “tomatenblüte”: It’s hard to decide which one is my favorite. So I have to make them all to find out the best. Thanks a lot for your inspiration and your new style – the combination of photo and ingredients. It’s very helpful.

  3. I do love all of you salad variations, they sound so delicous! Although the Swabian one is my favourite (you know: was der Bauer nicht kennt, isst er nicht), the Greek style and the mediterranean style sound so good. My grandmother (gosh I know, I talk so much about my grandma on your blog…) made a potatoe salad with apples, carrots, mayonnaise and Bismarck herring, which may sound like a strange combination… but I swear it is really delicious!

    • How great, Julia, another Swabian potato salad fan! I know very well the North German version of the saying you mentioned: Wat de Buur nich kennt, eet he nich ;-).
      Your grandmother’s recipe (there can’t be enough of this!) sounds wonderful – I eat fish from time to time and I just love herring, especially matie.

  4. Hi Claudia. Thank you so much for working out a recipe for Swabian potato salad for me! I am so excited to try it. It looks fantastic as does the Mediterranean one. :)
    And as usual, your pictures are beautiful!

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