German Potato Salad

I really should write a cookbook titled Conversational Recipes.  I know no stranger and will talk with anyone.  Somehow these conversations always find their way to the topic of food and recipes.  These conversation are frequently my inspiration for new recipes.  Although not a complete stranger, a few months ago, I met my friend Francesca’s lovely mother who happened to be visiting.  She spoke with a heavy German accent which reminded me of my neighbors growing up, which reminded me of the wide variety of German potato salads my neighbor would often prepare.  Our conversation quickly found its way to German potato salad and recipes.  The following day I was at Francesca’s home watching her mother prepare German potato salad.  The rest is history. 

This recipe was developed from our afternoon together.  It's a potato salad that is more acidic than the American style potato salad, and is mayo-free but certainly not fat free.  It is loaded with warm potatoes that soak up a tangy vinaigrette.  The chopped pickles add punch while the bacon adds crunch.   It’s a great side dish for any occasion from a grilled dinner to a summer potluck.  You’re going to love it!  Pssst…she also taught me how to make her German cabbage which I can’t wait to share. 

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German Potato Salad

Servings: 8-10

This hearty potato salad is coated with a sweet, tangy dressing.  Be sure the potatoes are warm when tossed with the dressing. The warm potatoes will soak up the dressing and become infused with flavor.  It’s a great side dish for any occasion from a grilled dinner to a summer potluck. 

3 pounds small red potatoes

½ pound bacon, diced

2 cup red onion, diced

1 Tablespoon fresh garlic, minced

1 cup dill pickles, diced

½ cup olive oil

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

2 Tablespoons grainy mustard

1 Tablespoon granulated sugar

1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1. Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil and cook just until tender, about 20 minutes. 

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet on medium heat, cook bacon until crisp.  Using a slotted spoon transfer bacon to a paper towel lined plate.  Leave rendered bacon fat in skillet.

3. Add onions to bacon fat, and cook on medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and pickles and cook until heated, 1-2 minutes.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, mustard, sugar, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper until emulsified.  Pour into skillet with onion mixture and cook until heated, about 2 minutes. 

5. Drain potatoes and lightly rinse with cool water.  When cool enough to handle, remove peels and slice into ½-inch rounds. 

6. Place warm potatoes in a large mixing bowl.  Pour heated dressing over potatoes and gently combine until the potatoes are well coated. Let sit, tossing occasionally, until the dressing is absorbed, about 10 minutes.  Just before serving, add crispy bacon and gently mix until combined.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Do Ahead:  Bacon can be cooked 3 days ahead, cooled and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  Vinaigrette can be made 3 days ahead; cover and refrigerate. Heat before adding to warm potatoes.