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German Potato Salad

June 28, 2010

This is a very special family recipe from my Grandma Hirvo, who was born in Germany. She made this potato salad for as long as I can remember, and it’s still a staple at our family functions. She shared this recipe with my Mom before she passed away, and my Mom shared it with me. I may very well be the first person to have measured the ingredients and written down the recipe–it’s usually made by memory. So here it is…

5 large white potatoes
1 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup white onion, finely minced
1/4 cup potato water, reserved from cooking
1 Tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste


  • Peel potatoes and cut in half.
  • Place in a large saucepan and cover with cold water.
  • Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until tender (about 10-15 minutes).
  • Remove potatoes from water and reserve 1/4 cup of potato cooking water.
  • Thinly slice potatoes, while still warm, and place in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together vinegar, oil, potato water and garlic salt until well combined.
  • Stir onions and chives into vinegar mixture.
  • Pour vinegar mixture over potatoes and gently stir to combine. (Mixture will be quite moist at first, but as it sits the potatoes will soak up much of the liquid.)
  • Season with black pepper, to taste.
  • Refrigerate at least 2 hours, or overnight.
  • Serve chilled or at room temperature.
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