A deliciously smooth potato salad made with a broth based dressing instead of mayonnaise, this is the typical Swabian potato salad.
There is a German word “schlozig” or “schlonzig” (depending on the region), which best describes the general feeling one gets when eating this salad. I tried to find a suitable translation for it, but although I was given many suggestions from the online dictionary, I found that none of them could really catch the meaning of the German word or describe this salad the way the German word does. Too bad… it is a really good word! Basically it would mean something like creamy, wet, sloppy, slimy (but in a good way 🙂 ), moist, thick, smooth and delicious. Put all this words together and you might understand what the Germans mean when they use the word “schlozig” to describe this potato salad. By the way, I think this is the most fascinating thing about the German language, it is so amazingly rich, they have a word or they are able to make up a word to describe just about anything.
And what makes this salad “schlozig”? It is the broth used to make the dressing, which will kind of flood the potatoes at first, and which the potatoes will absorb after resting for a while in the broth. The broth will slightly disintegrate the rough edges of the potato slices, forming this creamy and thick coating, even leading to the creation of a specific sound you will hear when stirring the salad before serving it. This is really eating with all of your senses. I like to increase the schlozig-ness of this salad by blending a small amount of the cooked potatoes with the broth, but this is optional.
There are two kinds of a typically German potato salad, this one here is THE potato salad traditionally made in the Southern parts of Germany, its main characteristic being the broth dressing. You can enrich the salad by adding gherkins or/and tiny, fried bacon cubes, radishes and even some small-sized lettuce leaves, like lamb’s lettuce or chopped rocket, for instance.
The potato salad typically made in the Northern parts of Germany is equally delicious, but definitely heavier, being made with lots of mayonnaise. In some regions people add apples or gherkins, in other regions hard-boiled eggs, baloney or young herring. In both cases, I prefer the potato salad pretty puritan, my only addition being the gherkins.
I chose to post the Swabian, Southern version of the German potato salad because this is the kind of salad I make most of the times. I like the other one as well and eat it gladly when I get it, but I prefer the lighter broth version, especially when this salad is meant to be a side dish for grilled meat. The mayonnaise version is more like a complete meal in itself, I don’t need anything to accompany it, except maybe some really ripe, sweet, sliced tomatoes to cut through the heaviness of the mayonnaise dressing.
We have this salad not only when grilling, but also as a side dish for sausages, chicken breast, for this Jägerschnitzel – German Hunter Schnitzel or the Wiener Schnitzel. Add some bacon cubes, chopped hard-boiled eggs and some radishes and this salad can become a satisfying main dish.
- 1 kg/ 2.2 lbs waxy potatoes
- 1 red onion
- 250 ml/1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
- 2-3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 pinch of sugar
- 5-8 gherkins, depending on size and taste
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- salt and pepper
- a bunch of chives
- Cook the potatoes in salted water until tender, making sure you don't overcook them. Drain well and peel them while they are still hot. Slice them rather thinly and place them in a large bowl.
- While the potatoes are cooking, chop the red onion very finely. Place it in a small pan, add the broth and cook until the onions are soft, it will take a couple of minutes or so. Add 2 tablespoons of the vinegar and whisk in the mustard and the sugar. Add a small handful of the sliced potatoes to this mixture and blend with an immersion blender. Add the oil and salt and pepper to taste.
- Slowly give the dressing to the potatoes, mixing very gently and taking care not to break the potato slices.
- Slice the gherkins very finely and add them to the salad.
- Leave the potato salad to cool and marinade for a few hours. The potatoes will absorb the broth and the dressing will become thick and creamy.
- Chop the chives and add them to the salad before serving. Taste and adjust the taste with more salt, pepper and vinegar, if necessary.
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