Dish of the Week: German Potato Salad

German potato salad uses mustard in lieu of mayonnaise, which lightens things up and adds a zesty kick.
German potato salad uses mustard in lieu of mayonnaise, which lightens things up and adds a zesty kick.
Photo by Jules

From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. Find other dishes of the week here.

This week, we’re gearing up for the long weekend with German Potato Salad.

German potato salad puts a spin on the mayo-based varieties you encounter at summer barbecues. Rather than mayonnaise, this increasingly popular version is prepared with a vinegar, oil, and mustard base. 

The dish is also known as kartoffelsalat (if you can pronounce it), after the German word for potato, kartoffel. Fun fact: The German word kartoffel comes from the Italian word for truffle, tartufolo, as when the root vegetable made its way throughout Europe, it was mistaken for another food you dig up, the truffle. It's like word origin Inception!

The slightly tart potato salad is often served warm, with bacon, onions or shallots, and fresh herbs like chives, parsley, scallions and dill dressing the dish up. To sweeten things a bit, cider vinegar and a pinch of sugar are often incorporated.

With warmer weather grilling sessions now in full swing, German potato salad makes a great side for brats and wieners, burgers and ribs, and beer can chicken.  

This recipe, from Serious Eats, mixes red potatoes with Dijon, bacon, white vinegar and a touch of sugar, making a salty, tangy, sweet and zesty side. Finish it with chopped chives and parsley.

German Potato Salad

Ingredients yields 8 servings
2 pounds red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/2 pound bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3/4 cup finely minced yellow onion (about 1 small)
1/3 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives

Place potatoes and one tablespoon salt in a large pot and cover with cold water until water level is one inch above potatoes. Set over medium-high heat until boiling. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until a paring knife can be inserted into potatoes with no resistance, ten to 15 minutes. Strain potatoes and set aside.

While potatoes are cooking, place bacon in a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving as much rendered fat in the pan as possible. Pour out all but about three tablespoons of fat from pan.

Add onions to pan with bacon fat and cook over medium heat until lightly browned, about five minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, sugar, mustard, two teaspoons of salt and pepper to make the dressing.

Place potatoes, bacon, onions, parsley, and chives in a large bowl. Add dressing and toss gently to combine. Let sit for ten to 15 minutes to allow flavors to meld, then serve immediately while still warm.

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