Saturday, September 21, 2013

Vegan Mofo #18 - Mark’s German Potato Salad (Kartoffelsalat)...

Vegan Mofo #18 - Mark’s German Potato Salad

The Region - Germany
The Book - The 30 Minute Vegan’s Taste of Europe
The Author - Mark Reinfeld
The Recipe - German Potato Salad
Page # 194
Difficulty - Easy
Duration - About 30 minutes

I don’t particularly like posting too many recipes from the same author in a row, or even  the same region because I like to change it up for you guys but it seemed rather appropriate to follow up my Vegan Schnitzel post with a post on potato salad. Especially since the two really go hand in hand. Of course even though Schnitzel and potato salad seem made for each other I can’t exactly say that potato salad itself is an inherently German dish. It’s certainly a popular one, even famously so, but potato salad has been around for as long as people have been able to boil potatoes and whip mayonnaise. There are recipes abound for it that reach all corners of the globe with a multitude of nuance and variation. It’s kind of like the Bajan seasoning I was talking about a few days ago, it’s just one of those things that everyone does their own way, and no matter how you choose to make it, it’s pretty hard to mess up.

Having said that however, there are a couple of features of German potato salad - Or kartoffelsalat, as it's known in Geramny - that help set it apart from other variations. The most obvious of which are that it’s almost always made with bacon or bacon bits, it’s almost always served hot - or at least warm - and it’s typically made with an oil and vinegar dressing rather then a mayonnaise based dressing. - Except for in the North of the country where the mayonnaise version in supposedly more common. Now I know a lot of people who think a hot potato salad is a kind of travesty but I personally really like it. Then again, potato salad hot or cold is kind of near and dear to my heart. I love all versions equally. Not only do potato salads have great taste and texture but they’re fantastic for picnic’s, BBQ’s, summer gatherings, and anytime you need a happy comfort food. Potato salad always remind me of home, and family and birthday parties.

What I like about Mark’s German Potato Salad is that it has that great combo of texture and taste. He uses perfectly boiled potatoes and pairs them with apple cider vinegar, Dijon Mustard, diced onion, bell pepper, salt, pepper, parsley, smoked paprika, garlic, and of course vegan bacon. His recipe calls for Tempeh bacon strips but since I didn’t have any on hand I decided to quickly make up a batch of my own Veggie Bacon Bites . I also didn’t have regular russet, gold or red potatoes on hand to make this salad so I used the Peruvian Purple potatoes that had been sitting in my vegetable bowl for about a week. The purple potatoes certainly make the colors of the dish pop, and make it pretty, while still keeping the same great flavor profile intact. This tangy, bacony, potatoy bowl of absolute perfection was the perfect accompaniment to the sightly salty vegan schnitzel, and marks yet another win for The 30 Minute Vegan’s Taste of Europe. Every bite reminded me of home, and it was so damn addictive that my husband and I nearly finished off the entire bowl in one sitting.

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