German Cucumber Salad

This is a great, easy and refreshing German Cucumber Salad that’s something a little different to the usual. Called Gurkensalat, it’s a staple side salad in every household in Germany. It’s particularly favoured during the warmer weather for its cooling effects, as well as making a perfect accompaniment to counter hearty, rib-sticking German food such as Pork... Get the Recipe The post German Cucumber Salad appeared first on RecipeTin Eats.

German Cucumber Salad

This is a great, easy and refreshing German Cucumber Salad that’s something a little different to the usual. Called Gurkensalat, it’s a staple side salad in every household in Germany. It’s particularly favoured during the warmer weather for its cooling effects, as well as making a perfect accompaniment to counter hearty, rib-sticking German food such as Pork Knuckle.

German Cucumber Salad in a bowl, ready to be served

Snapshot: German Cucumber Salad

You’ll find versions of this cucumber salad in every household in Germany, and in many German restaurants around the world. It comes in both non-creamy (oil-and-vinegar) versions as well as creamy versions like this one I’m sharing. It’s an excellent summer salad, and to serve alongside rich, meaty heavy mains.

  • Tastes like: Juicy, creamy, and a little tangy. Refreshing and cooling, with a clean and neutral flavour.

  • Perfect as: Summer side salad, or a base to build a stand-alone, light salad meal (eg. top with hot-smoked trout or eel, ham, fried bacon, or white anchovies)

  • Serve alongside: Hearty, rich mains. Think: German Pork Knuckle, Schnitzel etc

  • Effort level: Low, especially if you have a mandolin!

  • Storage: Keeps 2 days in the fridge

Fine slices of cucumber for German Cucumber Salad
Finely slice the cucumbers

What goes in German Cucumber Salad

Here’s what you need to make this:

Ingredients in German Cucumber Salad
  • Cucumbers – This is best made using the long English / telegraph cucumbers. These are less watery and have slightly firmer flesh than the shorter Lebanese cucumbers which are more common in Australia. They hold up better once dressed.

    If you can’t find English / telegraph cucumbers, use 4 Lebanese cucumbers instead (no need to peel these, the skin is softer);

  • Sour cream – Full-fat is best, because the cucumber juices will dilute the creamy dressing. However low-fat works just fine too. You can also substitute thick plain yogurt;

  • Vinegar – Just plain-old white distilled vinegar; and

  • Dill – The fresh aniseed-y flavour really makes it! So don’t skip it! Alternatives: Chives will add a nice refreshing oniony touch, mint will also go very well, else parsley for a more neutral flavour. Coriander / cilantro will give it a great Middle Eastern spin (I’d probably add a squeeze of lemon and touch of garlic too).

Pouring dressing over German Cucumber Salad

How to make German Cucumber Salad

  1. Peel and finely slice cucumbers – It’s best to peel English / telegraph cucumbers because the skin is a bit thick and tough. It just gives the salad a better overall texture, otherwise you have the slightly tougher skin mingling with the soft flesh. It also looks lovely with the pale green of the flesh only!

    If you’re using Lebanese cucumbers, there is no need to peel them because the skin is softer (feel free to, however).

    Finely slicing – A mandolin will make short work of this. Otherwise, show off your knife skills!

  2. Mix dressing – Mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl, then toss cucumbers in the dressing. The dressing is initially quite thick, as shown below, but it will thin out in the next step; and

  3. Leave for 4 hours+ – Set salad aside to let the cucumbers sweat and soften with the salt and acid from the dressing, like a very light pickling. The cucumber juice also thins the dressing so what started out as a thick and rich sour cream dressing ends up as a thin, Coleslaw-like white dressing which is refreshing rather than cloying.

What to serve with German Cucumber Salad

Such a clean-tasting, refreshing salad like this excellent served alongside rich or meat-heavy mains such as roasts. The cooling, creamy taste also couples perfectly with barbecued foods, so bring it along as part of a BBQ spread on hot summer days.

I’m sharing it as a suggested side for the Crispy German Pork Knuckle that I published on Monday as part of this week’s German-themed recipes. Pair it with the German Potato Salad I also shared today for a big Bavarian feast!! – Nagi x

German Cucumber Salad in a bowl, ready to be served
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German Cucumber Salad

This is a recipe for a refreshing German Cucumber Salad. Called Gurkensalat, it's a staple side salad you'll find versions of in every household in Germany. It's particularly favoured during the warmer weather for its cooling effects, as well as alongside rich mains such as German Pork Knuckle.
It will go with virtually any European or Western dish, as it has a clean, neutral flavour.
The dressing is very thick at first, but it naturally becomes diluted with the cucumber juices so you end up with a thinner, white dressing. This makes this Cucumber Salad refreshing rather than cloying.
Don't skip the dill, it really makes it!
Course Side Salad
Cuisine German
Keyword Creamy Cucumber Salad, cucumber salad, German Cucumber Salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Marinating 4 hours
Servings 5
Calories 66cal
Author Nagi

Ingredients

  • 2 English / telegraph cucumbers (ie. long cucumbers. Sub 4 x Lebanese cucumbers, Note 1)

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup sour cream (sub plain, thick yogurt)
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar (plain distilled vinegar)
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill , finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Black pepper

Instructions

  • Peel cucumbers and finely slice into 2mm / 0.2" slices using a mandolin (or by hand and show off your knife skills!)
  • Mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Toss cucumbers with dressing, then set aside for at least 4 hours or even overnight. The cucumbers will soften and leach juice which will thin the dressing to the right consistency.
  • Serving: Toss well then transfer to bowl for serving. Serve chilled for the most refreshing flavour!

Notes

1. Cucumbers – It’s best to use the long cucumbers called English or telegraph cucumbers. These are less watery than Lebanese cucumbers, the short ones which are more common in Australia. Lebanese cucumbers will make the dressing slightly thinner than intended and the cucumber will go slightly softer. But they are still delicious and worth using with this recipe!
If you can’t find English cucumbers, use 4 x Lebanese cucumbers instead (each about 20-25cm long). If you use Lebanese cucumbers, peeling is optional (skin is tougher on Telegraph cucumbers) but feel free to do so.
2. Storage –  Keeps for 2 days. After this, I find the cucumber gets a bit too soft for my taste.
3. Nutrition – Per serving, assuming 5 servings.

Nutrition

Calories: 66cal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 253mg | Potassium: 210mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 275IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 1mg

Life of Dozer

Annual vaccination time! He’s such a sook when it comes to needles – bit like his Mama. ????

Dozer-vaccination

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German Potato Salad

This is a warm potato salad, German-style! Slices of boiled potato are tossed in a warm, tangy-sweet bacon vinaigrette while hot so they absorb the flavour. They’re then showered with crispy, golden bacon bits and hit with freshness from dill and green onion. This excellent combination of flavours and textures makes this quite possibly my... Get the Recipe The post German Potato Salad appeared first on RecipeTin Eats.

German Potato Salad

This is a warm potato salad, German-style! Slices of boiled potato are tossed in a warm, tangy-sweet bacon vinaigrette while hot so they absorb the flavour. They’re then showered with crispy, golden bacon bits and hit with freshness from dill and green onion. This excellent combination of flavours and textures makes this quite possibly my all-time favourite potato salad!

German Potato Salad

This is a German Potato Salad of the style that has evolved in English-speaking countries, based on traditional warm potato salads brought by German immigrants. So it’s not strictly authentic, but still bears German influences like the dressing style, bacon and dill. More importantly though, this kind of salad is just delicious regardless and boasts a very firm foothold in the potato salad world! (Outside of Germany, that is. ????)

What’s so good about this German Potato Salad? For one, it’s the hot slices of boiled potato that are tossed in a slightly sweet, warm bacon-studded vinaigrette so they soak up the flavour. The whole lot then gets a hit of green and fresh flavour with a good helping of green onions and dill. The combination of salty-sweet-savoury with herby freshness turns an otherwise ordinary potato salad into something magic!

They say parents shouldn’t have a favourite child. If potato salads were my children though, I’d openly say it’s my favourite child! ???? Regular readers know my other Potato Salad Children, whom I also dearly dote on. The classic creamy mayo based one. A bright, fresh, lemony one. This delicious bacon-y, charred corn one. Then of course there’s all the sweet potato ones, like this one and this one. Yes, I have an entire Potato Salad Family!

German Potato Salad being made in a skillet

Ingredients in German Potato Salad

Here’s what you need to make this German Potato Salad:

Ingredients in German Potato Salad
  • Red potatoes – Includes the desiree and pontiac varieties in Australia. Try to get potatoes that are of even size so they cook through at the same time. Sliced potatoes cook quickly, and it’s annoying when some are overcooked so they break! If you can’t get red potatoes, other waxy potatoes will do;

  • Bacon – Streaky stuff please! We need the fat as the bacon renders for the warm, bacon and cider vinegar vinaigrette. If you use turkey bacon or the eye of bacon (aka short-cut bacon – it’s an Australian thing), you’ll likely find the dressing is a bit too tangy and likely have to add extra oil to balance it;

  • Cider vinegar – The vinegar of choice in this dressing for a German-esque touch;

  • Sugar – This dressing is supposed to be sweet and savoury. Everybody knows that sweet goes extremely well with bacon (candied bacon anyone?)!

  • Oil – Any neutral oil will do fine here. I use canola or grapeseed oil;

  • Red onion – Sautéed with the bacon to form part of the aromatic flavour base; and

  • Green onion and dill – The fresh elements in this dish. The dill in particular works so well in this potato salad!

Cooked sliced potato for German Potato Salad
Cooked baby red potatoes, sliced and ready to toss in the bacon vinaigrette!

How to make German Potato Salad

How to make German Potato Salad
  1. Boil whole potatoes – Start the potatoes in cold water so they cook through evenly. If you put the potatoes into boiling water, then the outside will cook faster and become too soft before the inside is cooked (a good all-round tip for boiling potatoes!)

    They will take between 10 – 15 minutes to cook, depending on the size. Start checking early because you want the potatoes very slightly firm in the centre. This is because they will continue cooking as they cool and you don’t want them to overcook and become too soft.

    Also don’t forget to add salt into the water so it seasons the potatoes as they cook!

  2. Slice – Drain the potatoes then set aside to cool a bit. Slice into rounds about 0.7cm / ¼” thick. It’s best if you can time it so the potato slices are still warm when you toss in the dressing because they will absorb flavour better;

  3. Cook bacon and onion – I don’t want to come across like I’m teaching your grandmother to suck eggs, but here is how I cook bacon!

    Place bacon in a large, unheated, non-stick pan or well-seasoned cast iron skillet* with no oil in the skillet. Turn the heat to medium. As it heats up, the bacon fat will start to melt, so the bacon cooks in its own fat without needing to add additional oil.

    Now turn the heat up to medium-high and cook the bacon until it starts to turn golden – about 3 minutes;

    For the onion, turn pan now down to medium. Add the red onion slices to the bacon and cook 3 minutes or until the onion is soft. By this time the bacon will be beautifully golden!

  4. Add vinegar and sugar – Add the cider vinegar and sugar. Bring to simmer, scraping the base of the pan to dissolve all the golden bits stuck on the pan into the liquid. This “brown stuff” is called fond and it’s going to add a ton of flavour into our dressing!

  5. Add oil – Add the oil and simmer for 2 minutes more. Congratulations, you’ve just made a warm vinaigrette dressing!

  6. Toss potato – Add potatoes to the pan and gently toss using two spatulas for 1 minute or so, until all the potatoes are well coated in the dressing and absorb it a bit.

    Check for seasoning Taste and add more salt if you want (though the bacon should add enough).

* A seasoned pan is cast iron or carbon steel pan that has developed a natural non-stick patina through repeated use. It should also be kept lightly oiled to stop it from rusting.

Plating up!

How to make German Potato Salad

To plate up, I like to layer the potato salad with dill and green onion, rather than just tossing it through. It presents more neatly I find, but also importantly it means we are handling the potatoes less so they retain a tidier shape rather than breaking up.

You’ll find that this recipe has a good dose of green onion and fresh dill. It needs it, for a boost of fresh flavour to counter the richness of the sweet bacon vinaigrette!

German Potato Salad in a salad ready to be served
Close up of fork picking up a piece of German Potato Salad

Today’s recipe is being shared in the spirit of a German-themed week which kicked off with a bang with an epic, Crispy Slow-Roasted German Pork Knuckle. If you have never tried Pork Knuckle before (spoiler: it’s not pig’s trotter! It’s part of the pig’s upper leg and is incredibly delicious), prepare to be knocked off your chair. And if you have had it before, know that unlike other recipes out there, we’ve properly cracked the secret to awesome Pork Knuckle crackling!

I’m also sharing today a simple, refreshing Cucumber Salad which would be a terrific vegetable side to make a meal of the Pork Knuckle.

As for a sweet finish, what else could it be other than a Black Forest Cake?? Coming your way on Friday, this one is dedicated to all those who have tried and been disappointed by recipes or even cake shops in the past … I’m confident this one will not disappoint!! – Nagi x


Watch how to make it

Close up of German Potato Salad in a bowl ready to be served
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German Potato Salad

Recipe video above. This is a warm potato salad, German-style! Slices of boiled potato are tossed in a warm, tangy-sweet bacon vinaigrette while hot so they absorb the flavour. They're then showered with crispy, golden bacon bits and hit with freshness from dill and green onion. This excellent combination of flavours and textures makes this quite possibly my all-time favourite potato salad!
Course Side
Cuisine German, Western
Keyword German Potato Salad, German potato side, Potato Salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 299cal
Author Nagi

Ingredients

  • 1 kg / 1 lb baby red potatoes or other small waxy potatoes (Note 1)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 100g / 3oz streaky bacon , chopped into 2cm x 4mm (0.8 x 0.15") lardons
  • 1/4 red onion , sliced
  • 1/4 cup canola oil (or grapeseed)
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 2 green onions , finely sliced
  • 3 tbsp fresh dill , finely chopped (sub parsley)

Instructions

Cook potato:

  • Boil potatoes: Place the baby potatoes in a large pot of cold water with the salt. Bring to the boil then reduce heat. Simmer 10 minutes or until just cooked through but still slightly firm in the centre (they will continue cooking as they cool, you don't want to overcook them so they hold their shape).
  • Slice: Drain and set aside to cool slightly, then slice into rounds about 0.7cm / ¼" thick.

Make salad:

  • Cook bacon: Place bacon in a large, unheated non-stick pan or well-seasoned cast iron skillet. Turn the heat to medium. As the bacon heats up, the fat will start to melt. Turn the heat up to medium-high and cook the bacon until it starts to turn golden – about 3 minutes.
  • Cook onion: Turn heat down to medium. Add the red onion slices and cook 3 minutes or until the onion is soft.
  • Add vinegar and sugar: Add the cider vinegar and sugar, bring to a simmer, scraping the base of the pan to dissolve all the golden bits stuck to the pan into the liquid.
  • Add oil: Add the oil, and simmer for 2 minutes longer. The dressing is now ready.
  • Toss potato through: Add potatoes and gently toss using two spatulas for 1 minute or so, until all the potatoes are well coated in the dressing and absorb some of the dressing.
  • Check for salt: Taste and add more salt if you want (the bacon already should add enough).

Assemble salad:

  • Layer potatoes: Pile about 1/4 of the potato on to a platter or in a bowl. Sprinkle with 1/4 of the green onion and dill. Top with another 1/4 of potato, sprinkle with more green onion and dill. Repeat until all used up.
  • Serve! I love it served warm, but it's also terrific at room temperature!

Notes

1. Potato size – Try to get potatoes that are of even size so they cook through at the same time. If they are large you might need to cut some in half to ensure they all cook evenly.
If you can’t get red potatoes, then any waxy potatoes will do.
2. Storage – This potato salad will keep up to 5 days in the fridge. Bring to room temperature or gently warm in the microwave to reheat before serving.
3. Nutrition per serving, assuming 6 servings.

Nutrition

Calories: 299cal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 1072mg | Potassium: 750mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 65IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg

The potato salad family

Life of Dozer

This week – Dozer’s first sighting of Duck Confit! He likes what he sees…..

Dozer Duck Confit

The post German Potato Salad appeared first on RecipeTin Eats.

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