When it comes to comfort food with a touch of European flair, few dishes can compete with the charm of Austrian Potato Salad, or as the locals call it, “Erdäpfelsalat.” Originating from the heart of Austria, this delightful concoction of boiled potatoes, onions, and a zesty dressing is a true culinary gem that deserves a spotlight.
It’s refreshingly light since it is a dairy free potato salad with a mustard vinaigrette, relying on the starch from the potatoes to give the dressing a creamy texture. It’s also low fat and rich in flavor due to the mustard, broth, and vinegar! I took a cooking class with Andante Vienna during my recent trip with Avalon Waterways and learned how to make Austrian potato salad and have the recipe for you below.
Cooking Classes On A Cruise
Usually, there’s not enough time to take a cooking class when you’re on a cruise. But Avalon Waterways offers Active & Discovery river cruises where you can choose among included excursions that are immersive and hands-on. So rather than rushing through each port, you have time to see all the sites AND do fun things like taking cooking classes.
Learning To Make Austrian-Style Potato Salad (Erdäpfelsalat)
The name of the cooking school, Andante, is actually a musical reference for a moderately slow tempo. And I can’t think of a more befitting name for place where we spent a leisurely afternoon sipping wine and learning the basics of Austrian cuisine by making apple strudel, Wiener schnitzel, and Austrian potato salad. It was such a relaxing afternoon of cooking and eating all the delicious foods we made, including this Austrian potato salad!
Nabiel and Natascha made us feel at home in their kitchen, and I’m so thankful Avalon Waterways for coordinating this experience!
A Journey Into The Roots: Erdäpfelsalat Origins
Austrian Potato Salad has deep roots in the rich culinary traditions of Austria. While recipes can vary across regions, the essence of Erdäpfelsalat lies in its simplicity and the use of fresh, high-quality ingredients. Potatoes, being a staple in Austrian cuisine, take center stage in this dish.
Differences with German Potato Salad: A Culinary Sibling Rivalry
Now, you might be wondering, how does Austrian Potato Salad differ from its close relative, the German Potato Salad? While both share common elements, they each have their unique twists.
Austrian Potato Salad tends to be lighter, often featuring a dressing with a delightful kick of vinegar and mustard. The use of these tangy ingredients gives the salad a refreshing and slightly zesty flavor. On the other hand, German Potato Salad often leans towards a creamier consistency, sometimes even incorporating bacon for that extra savory touch.
Austrian Potato Salad Ingredients
I’ve made this dairy-free potato salad recipe few times since coming home from my trip, and there are two ingredients that were difficult to find in the US, so I’ve made some substitutions. The first is estragon mustard. You can find it on Amazon! Or you can add about a 1/2 tsp of tarragon to brown mustard or dijon. I’ve also made Austrian potato salad just using spicy brown mustard, as listed in the recipe below.
The second ingredient I couldn’t find in the US was mache lettuce. It is slightly sweet and tangy and gives a wonderful crisp green freshness to the salad. If you live in the Northeast, you might have better luck finding it than in the south. The brand, Organic Girl, does sell it, but I couldn’t find it at any of our local grocers. As a substitute, I’ve tried both Watercress (more spicy and peppery than sweet), pea tendrils, and microgreens too.
Here’s a list of all the ingredients you’ll need to make this Austrian Potato Salad:
- red potatoes
- olive oil
- red onion
- vegetable broth
- brown mustard (Estragon mustard, if you have it. Dijon also works well.)
- apple cider vinegar (white wine vinegar is a good subsitute too)
- salt and pepper
- mache lettuce, pea tendrils, or microgreens
Austrian Potato Salad Recipe Step-by-Step
Boil the Potatoes: Start by boiling the potatoes in a pot of salted water until they’re fork-tender. Once done, drain and let them cool slightly.
Slice and Dice: Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice them into bite-sized pieces. Place them in a large mixing bowl.
Onion Love: For chopping onions, I think it is best to use a food processor. Not only does it save time, but it seems to save a few shed tears too. At least for me. The onion adds a nice crunch, color, and a hint of sharpness to the salad.
Whip Up the Dressing: In a separate bowl, whisk together the apple cider vinegar, brown mustard, olive oil, sugar, salt, and pepper.
This dressing is where the magic happens, so don’t be shy with the flavors. Once you mix it in with the potatoes, it picks up some of the starches and becomes creamy without adding any dairy.
Pour and Toss: Pour the dressing over the potatoes and onions. Gently toss everything together, ensuring each potato piece gets coated in that delectable dressing.
Chill Time: Let the salad chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour. This not only allows the flavors to mingle but also makes it a refreshing treat, especially on a warm day. You can also cover it and refrigerate it overnight.
Garnish and Serve: The garnish is really what elevates this Austrian potato salad. Serve with mache lettuce, pea tendrils, or microgreens. Or, if you can’t find those, sprinkle some fresh herbs like parsley or chives for an extra burst of flavor and a pop of color.
Putting Your Spin on Things
The beauty of Erdäpfelsalat lies in its versatility. Feel free to get creative with your version of Austrian Potato Salad. Add crispy bacon bits, toss in some chopped pickles for a tangy twist, or experiment with different types of mustard to tailor the flavor to your liking. Cooking is an art, and this salad is your canvas.
A Taste of Austria in Every Bite
Austrian Potato Salad is more than just a dish; it’s a journey into the heart of Austrian culinary traditions. With its simple yet robust flavors, Erdäpfelsalat has the power to transport you to the charming streets of Vienna or the picturesque landscapes of the Austrian Alps.
So, the next time you’re craving a taste of Europe in your own kitchen, don’t hesitate to whip up a bowl of Austrian Potato Salad. It’s a celebration of good food, good company, and the simple joys of life. Prost
- 2.5 pounds red potatoes
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 red onion
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 Tbsp brown mustard (estragon mustard, if you have it)
- 5 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 to 2 cups mache lettuce, pea tendrils, or microgreens
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the potatoes whole, with the skin on, for about 20 minutes.
While the potatoes are cooking, peel the onion and cut into quarters. Add the onion pieces to your food food processor or blender and pulse a few times until the onion is finely chopped.
Add the vinegar, mustard, oil, and onions to a small bowl and whisk together to make a vinaigrette.
Once the potatoes are done cooking, drain the water using a large strainer and rince the potatoes in cool water. Remove peel and cut into thin slices while still warm.
Heat the broth and immediately pour it over the potatoes, following with the vinaigrette blend.
Season to taste with the sugar, salt, and pepper, and toss the potatoes with the vinaigrette until has a creamy consistency.
Top with greens and serve!
The potatoes should be easy to peel by hand once they're boiled. I like to do this under the sink faucet with a low stream of cool water. Simply use a vegetable peeler if any skin or blemishes on the potato are tought to remove.
Mache lettuce can sometimes be tricky to find, but you can substitute it with pea tendrils, watercress lettuce, or microgreens.
Estragon mustard (Austrian tarragon mustard) is available on Amazon! But a tip from one of my foodie friends, just mix a little tarragon into Dijon as a substitute. You can also just simply use brown mustard.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 304Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 202mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 5gSugar: 8gProtein: 6g
Nutrition information provided is only an estimate.
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This post is part of the #AvalonAD campaign in collaboration with iambassador and Avalon Waterways. However, all views and opinions are my own. Originally published in 2019. Updated in 2024.