As much as we like our potatoes, you'd think aardappelsalade, potato salad, would have a huge place in the Dutch kitchen. The potato as an edible tuber was introduced to the Netherlands in the late 1500's and since, thrifty housewives have found numerous ways of implementing potatoes into their daily menu.

Nevertheless, neither potato salad nor mashed potatoes are big in the Netherlands. Leftover boiled potatoes are usually just sliced and fried golden in butter and served with lunch or dinner the next day, and mashed potatoes still are most often made from a bag instead of fresh potatoes. I'm not saying that we don't eat potato salad, it just doesn't seem to have much of an appeal somehow.

This would explain why not many Dutch cookbooks, whether they cover modern, traditional, regional or last-century cooking, mention potato salad at all. Out of the random twenty books I pulled off the shelf only three books mentioned potato salad: one was a student cookbook, one a book on Limburg dishes and one was a general, basic cookbook from the early eighties. Any of the other books, not a word....

But aardappelsalade is not altogether absent either. Served as a cold salad on the side with an order of uitsmijter, you can still find it here and there, most often in road restaurants, or served with bread as a late evening snack at a party or a get-together. Aardappelsalade is also traditionally the basis of a more elaborate dish called "koude schotel", cold tray, that is often served at barbeque or grill backyard parties, summer lunches or rural weddings or funerals.

The aardappelsalade consists usually of a few main ingredients: boiled potatoes, onions, pickles and mayonnaise. Anything else beyond that is up to someone's own interpretation of the salad, and often depends on family or regional favorites. Some add leeks, spring onions, celery, or carrots ....others add bacon, roast beef, kielbasa or chicken. A lighter version can be made with yogurt instead of mayonnaise, or a more complex salad flavorwise is achieved with adding mustard or piccalilly.

This potato salad is one that my oma, grandmother, would make. Adding apple to a potato salad seems to be a more southern tradition and will not be liked by all, at first. However, the incredible flavor marriage between the salty and creamy potato, the crunch of the apple, the tanginess of the pickle and the slight sweetness of the onion.....it all comes together beautifully and will win over many a potato salad loving heart.

A refreshing, easy to make salad for those hot summer evenings, this potato salad will be a welcome addition to your backyard barbeque menu, or as a quick lunch snack with a slice of bread.

Oma's aardappelsalade
8 medium potatoes
1/2 of a small onion
8 dill pickles, whole
2 small red apples
6 tablespoons of mayonnaise
3 tablespoons of pickle juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Scrub the potatoes and boil in salty water until done, about twenty minutes. If a fork easily goes through the skin and hits the center of the potato without resistance, the potatoes are done. Pour off the water and set the tubers to the side to cool.

In the meantime, mince the onion and the pickle. Scrub the apple but leave the peel on, core it and dice. Peel the warm potatoes, then cube them into bite-size pieces. It's best if the potato is still slightly warm. Mix the mayonnaise with the pickle juice and carefully stir the potato cubes into the dressing, and add the minced onion, pickle and apple. Carefully fold the salad until all liquid is absorbed. Taste. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.

Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours or preferably overnight. Serve cold.


  1. Looks good, lot of jummy stuf here!

  2. one of my favorites -
    my mother in Holland used to make this one...

    Sorry - this recipe is only for Dutch people..
    she did not speak English..
    (although it appeared to me and my dad that she spoke a foreign language when she went to Drente, where she was born, to visit with her folks :^)

    Koude Aardappelsalade met corned beef en zoetzuur.

    paar aardappels gekookt en gestampt
    paar zoet zure augurkies, fijngehakt
    sjalotje, kleingehakt
    paar amsterdamse uitjes, kleingehakt
    1 blikkie corned beef, klein gemaakt

    mix bovenstaand met tomaten ketchup, mayonaise en wat vocht van het zuur naar smaak tot een smeuig geheel..

    kruid met wat knoflook poeder,
    snuffie kerrie,
    zwarte peper, zout
    paprika poeder
    Worcestershire saus en een druppie tabasco.

    Maak een slaatje op een schaal, (paar blaadjes sla - de cornedbeef mix erop) en strijk glad met een mes.

    Spreid mayo over het geheel met een mes en sprinkel Parmezaanse kaas erop.

    Garneer met in partjes gesneden hard gekookte eieren, rolletjes- ham, kaas en Salami - (of verschillende soorten vis..)
    en kleine augurkies en zilver uitjes.

    Laat goed afkoelen in de koelkast en serveer met wat knoflook brood en een biertje?

  3. Oldjinks, great recipe and thank you for sharing! You're describing a "koude schotel", a dish that will grace many tables this evening and the next couple of days while people gather for the "new year's drink". Happy New Year!

  4. Wednesdays and Saturdays were "bread days" and Fridays "fish days"at my home in the 50s and 60s. On Saturday evenings my mother often served what she called a "zalmsalade", although the main ingredient was potatoes. Just cook them, mash them mix with some freshly diced yellow onion and plenty of mayonaise, put the mixture onto a bed of fresh french lettuce leaves, top with a can of pink salmon and garnish with fresh tomato and hard boiled eggs.

    1. I love the simple days. I grew up in Kansas. My husband is from Holland and his brother made us a delicious dish of mashed potatoes with canned salmon added in frosted with mayonaise dill pickles and hard boiled eggs. I am going to try yours with onion and tomatoes....sounds delicious!!
      Janet Nachtweh

  5. What a lovely potato salad this is. I really enjoyed my dinner tonight. I boiled the potatoes this morning and came home this evening and finished up the salad exactly as you posted the recipe. It is wonderful. I thank you and Grandma for such a simple and tasty salad.

    It's just like you said. All the components compliment each other very well. I'm glad you left it clean and simple without mustard or too many fussy ingredients. This one is great.

    Debra W.

  6. Mashed potatoes are not popular in te Netherlands??? Then what do stamppotten contain?


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