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If you’re a South African, it’s not a braai without potato salad, no matter what Tim Noakes has to say about carbs. When it comes to potatoes, South Africans are serious about their spuds!

What is Potato Salad?

In case you’ve been living under a culinary rock,  potato salad is a wildly popular side dish, of which there are many variations in many parts of the world. Just like there are many potato varieties, so too do the ingredients for this dish differ, according to where it’s made and who’s making it.

As for how to make potato salad; in Southern Germany, they like to prepare potato salad with vinegar, potatoes, oil, mustard, vegetable broth, bacon bits, parsley, red onion and topped with chives and they even go so far as to serve potato salad warm. In Sicily, potato salad features string beans and red onion, and dressed with olive oil and vinegar. In America, the following ingredients are popular in potato salad recipes: cubed, boiled potatoes, mayonnaise or a mayonnaise-like substitute such as yoghurt or sour cream, yellow mustard, black pepper, salt, celery seed, sugar, dill, chopped gherkins, chives, finely chopped red or white onion, chopped green or red peppers, celery and even hard-boiled egg.

Where did potato salad originate from?

It’s thought that potato salad has its roots in Germany, where it then spread across Europe and then to European colonies. It’s likely that the side dish we enjoy today came from potato salad recipes used by German and European immigrants.

Need to know how to make potato salad?

If you’re going to a braai or barbeque, choosing to take along a potato salad as a side dish is a smart move. The combination of potato salad and chargrilled meat is a taste experience second to none. If you’re tired of the same old potato salad being served up at every braai (is that even possible?) we’ve curated a handful of the best potato salad recipes for you to experiment with.

Easy potato salad recipes

Potato and String bean salad recipe

Potatoes and green beans with cheese. A match made in heaven. This Italian-style salad is bursting with flavour thanks to simple seasoning with extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, and fresh summer herbs. I don’t think she would mind that I added salty, tender prosciutto for some flair.

[Makes 4 to 6 servings]

Ingredients

  • 1 kg of potatoes
  • 500g green beans (trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces)
  • 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbs water
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 tbs finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tbs finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 60g prosciutto, torn into thin strips

Method

  1. Scrub potatoes well, rinse thoroughly and pat dry. Cut into 2-3cm pieces and add to a medium-size pan of water.
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, yet still hold their shape, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and cool, saving the water.
  3. Place string beans in boiling potato water for 2 minutes. Drain and plunge into a bowl of ice water. (This will let them retain their vivid green color.) Drain and pat dry before assembling the salad.
  4. To make the dressing, whisk all of the remaining ingredients except prosciutto in a small bowl and set aside.
  5. To prepare the salad, place cooled potatoes, string beans and prosciutto strips in a large bowl. Pour dressing over salad, and gently toss until well-coated.
  6. Garnish with additional herbs, if desired. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.

Mexican Potato Salad

Ingredients

  • 600g potatoes – peeled and diced
  • 1tbs salt
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup plain yoghurt
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tbs juice from a jar of gherkins
  • ¼ cup spring onions – finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery – chopped
  • 4 gherkins – finely chopped
  • ½ red pepper – finely chopped
  • 3 eggs – hard-boiled and roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. In a large pot boil the potatoes with 1 tbsp salt until a knife goes through each potato easily.
  2. Drain the potatoes in a colander and allow them to cool completely (this can be done in the fridge).
  3. In a bowl, mix together all other ingredients except the salt.
  4. Add the cold potato to the mayonnaise and yoghurt mixture folding in carefully not to mash the potatoes.
  5. Garnish and serve.

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