My German-born husband loves this potato salad, as it reminds him of one his oma used to make. The combination of sharp vinegar, gherkins, fresh herbs and red onion are the secret to this flavourful potato salad, and I make it often through the summer months to take to potlucks and barbecues.
The variety of potato and its preparation is key to a good potato salad. For this style of salad, Agria or another floury potato are my first choice as their soft, floury texture soaks up the flavours. For a potato salad with a creamy dressing, I prefer an all-purpose potato like Desiree. Pay attention to salting the cooking water generously so that the potatoes are nicely seasoned, a similar approach to when cooking pasta.
Serves 6–8 as a side
1 kilogram Agria potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-centimetre pieces
1 teaspoon salt
about 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
½ red onion (about 75 grams), finely chopped
5 tablespoons olive oil
large handful of soft herbs – parsley, chives, fennel, mint, dill – roughly chopped
1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
6 pickled gherkins, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon capers
salt and cracked pepper
Place the prepared potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with cold water and add the salt (if using new potatoes, use boiling water). Bring to the boil and cook until the potatoes are just tender, about 12–15 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander, then sit the colander over the empty saucepan and cover with a large lid. The holes in the colander will allow some steam to escape as the potatoes cool down without drying out.
Place the vinegar, honey and red onion in a large salad bowl. Mix well to soften the onion, then add the olive oil, chopped herbs, mustard, gherkins and capers. Season to taste. Fold through the warm potato pieces. Check the taste, adding more vinegar or seasoning as needed. Chill until ready to serve.
Recipe from The Homemade Table by Nicola Galloway. Published by Potton & Burton, 2022. Hardcover, $59.99.
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