Kartupeļu salāti (Potato salad)
In most parts of the world ‘salad’ means something light, green and healthy; an entree or a side dish. Salad in Latvia usually is like a meal on its own, available in every deli, supermarket, canteen and bistro. It would usually include potatoes, carrots or rice and would be served with cream and mayo dressing. Not surprisingly, salad is very popular party food as it is filling and cheap.
In comparison to any potato salad I have eaten in Australia, this recipe beats every one of them hands down. Probably the biggest difference is that potatoes and other ingredients are diced, and dressing is very rich – Latvians love their mayo and a teaspoon of mustard gives it additional kick. If possible, do not use mayo that contains sunflower oil as it will have a quite distinctive oily taste. I have found that Japanese mayo (e.g., Kewpie brand) tastes very much like the mayo I would use in Latvia.
- 5 medium potatoes
- 2 eggs
- 3 Polish gherkins (pickles)
- 300g tin of peas
- 4 heaped tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 heaped tablespoons sour cream
- 1 teaspoon hot mustard
- salt and pepper
- Place washed, unpeeled potatoes in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium heat and simmer until potatoes are tender.
- At the same time place the eggs in a small saucepan, cover with cold water, bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes (for hard boiled eggs).
- While potatoes are simmering, finely cut the gherkins, drain and rinse the peas. Prepare the dressing by mixing together mayonnaise, sour cream and mustard, season well with salt and pepper.
- When potatoes are tender, remove them from the saucepan and let them cool completely.
- Meanwhile, peel and chop the eggs.
- When potatoes have cooled, peel them and cut in small cubes.
- Mix together potatoes, eggs, peas and gherkins, stir through the dressing.
Cold potatoes are easier to peel and cut - you can use leftover boiled potatoes or cook potatoes in advance. When eggs have cooked, place them in cold water for couple minutes - it will be easier to peel the eggs. You can add finely chopped spring onions or small white onion, fried and diced bacon or boiled and diced beef to the salad. Use mayonnaise that does not contain sunflower oil for a more authentic taste.