German Potato Salad with Apple and Gherkins – My Mother’s Recipe

This is a recipe I learned from my mother who is herself not very fond of the mayonnaise-laden potato salads that are typically served in my Westfalian home region. So whenever my mother makes a potato salad herself, she does it as described in this recipe.

Originally – i.e. the way my mother makes it – the dish is made with broth only. However, I find it adds an extra layer of flavor to add a bit of oil and vinegar. I typically use small waxy potatoes with a thin skin (a sorting called „drillinge“ in German). It not only saves you the trouble of pealing potatoes, I think it also looks much nicer in the bowl. 🙂



  • 250-300 grams of small potatoes
  • 1 medium sour apple (e.g. Braeburn)
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 5-6 gherkins, roughly chopped
  • 200-300 ml of (cold) vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of apple vinegar
  • freshly ground black pepper, salt
  • For serving: a few parsley leaves or chives


  1. Wash the potatoes well and boil until al dente.
  2. Strain and let cool down. Then cut into quarters and halves and tip into a bowl.
  3. Remove the core of the apple, dice it and mix well with the lemon juice in a separate bowl. Let any excess lemon juice drip off before adding it to the potatoes.
  4. Roughly chop the gherkins and add to the potatoes and apple pieces.
  5. Ladle the broth over the potatoes until covered by (but swimming in) broth. Turn the potatoes in the broth a couple of times. Add the olive oil and vinegar and season with plenty of black pepper and some salt.
  6. Cover and set aside in the fridge for a couple of hours. Every now and then, turn the potatoes in the dressing and add more vegetable broth as it gets soaked up.
  7. Serve with a garnish of parsley leaves or sprinkled with chopped chives.

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