I have good memories of this salad. My grandmother (on the right, with me on her lap) prepared it during long vacations during the summer in Maastricht, the Southern-most city of the Netherlands, when it was very hot. My mother also had it on her repertoire as an easy meal during heatwaves. So this is a real family recipe. It is a simple salad without exotic ingredients. These simply weren’t available during the early sixties in the Netherlands.
Since this salad is to be tossed with hot potatoes just before serving, the lettuce in the salad will wilt. I love it that way, but maybe not everyone will feel the same. However, the temperature of the potatoes is important, because they absorb some of the salad dressing while hot. Cold potatoes don’t, so for a good flavour it is important to add the potatoes as soon after cooking and before serving as possible. By the way, when baking cooked potatoes, they have to be cold. So remember: to eat cold, use hot cooked potatoes, to bake, use cold potatoes! However, potatoes do not need to be cooked before baking, they can also be used raw.
Main dish for 2 to 3 persons, side dish for 4 to 6 persons; preparation in advance 25 minutes; preparation 10 minutes.
1 large head lettuce
400 gr potatoes
beef stock (from a cube or pot)
4 ripe tomatoes
1 yellow onion
For the dressing
3 Tbsp neutral tasting oil
2 Tbsp white vinegar
3 Tbsp mayonnaise
2 tsp Dijon mustard
pepper and salt to taste
parsley and chives to taste
Preparation in advance
Peel the potatoes in boil them in beef stock. Adding salt is not necessary, as the stock already contains salt. Prepare the other ingredients while the potatoes are boiling, because the salad must be ready to receive the hot potatoes.
Peel the cucumber, slice thinly and put them in a strainer, sprinkled with ample salt.
Boil the eggs for 5 to 6 minutes, prepare the vegetables. Chop the onion, tear the lettuce, slice halved tomatoes.
Mix everything for the salad dressing, beat well with a fork or whisk. It may seem like a large amount, but the potatoes will absorb part of the moisture.
Squeeze the cucumber slices between the hands to remove as much moisture as possible.
Add lettuce, cucumber, tomato and onion to the salad bowl and toss with the salad dressing. Drain the potatoes, cut into thick slices and add immediately to the salad. Toss well and allow the lettuce to wilt a little. Peel the boiled eggs, slice them and also add to the salad.
This salad is at its best when it is prepared just before servinf, when the potatoes are still warm and the lettuce is just starting to wilt. This is a complete meal, bread is not needed because of the potatoes. I have always been amazed at the British and American custom to serve potato chips or french fries with sandwiches. But why serve carbohydrates with more carbohydrates?
A family recipe for nostalgic summer salad
This recipe has been in my family for at least three generations now. We love to eat it during really hot days. The salad is at its best when fresly made.