Potato ‘Patarto’ – Danish Salad

A dear friend turned the grand age of 80 this week and, for her party, asked the guests not to bring gifts, but instead bring some food. She politely suggested I bring some Potato Salad.

Sounds simple enough in principle, but not in practice.

Ordinarily, throwing together a potato salad would be child’s play, but this was a party of primarily Danish and Scandi folk. And Danish folk are very particular about their Kartoffelsalat – Potato Salad.

The pressure was on.

Photo by August de Richelieu on

Some years ago, while still a novice to Danish cooking, I once made Ris a la mande for an event that some of these folk attended and overheard some of them stating the’ Rice’ dish was a little ‘different,’ from how it traditionally tastes. On hearing this, I was somewhat crushed but rationalized that I just needed more practice at traditional cooking methods.

Danish- Australian Potato Salad

I make potato salad with red-skinned potatoes, (I don’t skin them), add chopped hard-boiled eggs, artichoke hearts, and pickled cucumbers thus making the dish into a rounded meal. My friend, however, does not want that for her birthday party contribution. And when you have little time left on this earth, you get to choose!

My friend wants the dish made with potatoes only, dressed with sour cream/mayonnaise mix and maybe a little mustard. That seems a tad boring, I think. Nevertheless, I make it more or less with the ingredients listed below, but sprinkling the warm potatoes with a little Paul Newmans’ vinaigrette salad dressing and adding some Dijonaise to the dressing mix, (after the cooked potatoes had cooled down).

Kold Kartoffelsalat – Danish Potato Salad

650 g (1.5 lb) small potatoes with peel
2 dl (1 cup) creme fraiche/sour cream
2 dl (1 cup) soured/acidified milk (or Greek yogurt)
bunch of chives (about 1 dl/1/2 cup), finely chopped
1 red onion, finely chopped

Potato Salad – the Danish Way from

As I was making up the final presentation and remembering the whispers about the Rice dish, I had a mild panic that I hadn’t followed the Danish traditional method of cooking the potatoes in their jackets and skinning them afterwards and I’d be admonished or, at least, I would be disappointing the birthday girl.

Would the Danes detect a change in the flavour?

This time, if they did taste anything different, nothing was said, and there was not an artichoke nor pickle in sight.

One man’s potato is not another man’s ‘potarto,‘ I guess.

How do you make potato salad or Kald Kartoffelsalat?

Blog logo on transparent background

73 thoughts on “Potato ‘Patarto’ – Danish Salad”

      1. I like the flavour of mustard in potato salad and dill, as well as pickles. It has been interesting to read of all the subtle variations to such a humble dish. It really is very versatile. I like all these ideas. Would you try making it differently?


        1. I have made it differently. Used baby potatoes in skin, drizzled with salad dressing or olive oil, softend sun-dried tomatoes pieces, blocks of feta cheese and fresh parsley chopped up. Sometimes I like to add pickled cucumber too. I prefer this way, but hubby loves it with mayonnaise.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. This is an excellent version, Aletta. Sun-dried tomatoes, feta and maybe even some shaved parmesan to garnish would be just the ticket to give the salad a Greek spin! And I do like feta cheese. Of course, there would be parsley added too!


  1. Laughing my head off ! Well, we slightly further east always, but always have this on each and every party table – we call it ‘rosolje’ in Estonian and ‘rosolnik’ in the more Slavic countries . . . well it kind’of needs a wee bit of finely chopped ham and naturally the eggs and finely chopped Spanish onion and very, very definitely some raw pickled anchovies !! Being health conscious I do not touch mayonnaise – Greek yoghurt +French mustard will taste great !!!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey hey, I do love beetroot but don’t get too carried away, Eha. Ham, bacon and even achovies would be welcomed, but never beetroot! It might clash with my pickled dill cucumbers! Lol.


        1. Ha ! Millions of people in dozens of countries do think they taste yummy together ! I have Swedish friends who make it the same way but it is not as much in their psyche 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Well I will give it a go next time. But only a little. I don’t want purple potartoes! Lol. How do you stop it all muddling together and being a light purple colour?


            1. *Laughter* But it should present as a medium or dark purple dish – that is the whole appeal and attraction ! Who on earth would want a plain boiled potato !!! It takes awhile to cut very evenly and finely but in most of NE Europe many rake that and a few kinds of herring and pates and that is a reason to accept a party invitation !!!

              Liked by 1 person

    1. I like the sound of your potarto salad! Lol. Glad that gave you a chuckle!
      The addition of ham or bacon is one that would be appreciated in the colder countries, no doubt?


  2. I make it lots of different ways, depending on what’s to hand. I do generally boil the potatoes in their skins, skin them when cooked and add the dressing while the potatoes are still warm. Sometimes I’ll use a vinagrette and mustard dressing with chopped fresh dill, sometimes a home-made mayonnaise with chopped fresh chives or spring onions. I’d happily add chopped pickles and artichokes, but not boiled egg. Hubby likes his topped with crispy bacon.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Your variation sounds delicious, Sheree. It is a shame you don’t like the egg. But then, it is in my genetics to like egg! I can’t help it. I have heard some say – eew. I can’t stand eggs and I wonder at that statement. How can someone dislike so fundamental a dietary ingredient! It is such a part of so many recipes!
      On the other hand, I am so glad that you agree with me on the dill, artichokes and pickles! We have to share a meal together sometime!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No, it’s just the French dressing you buy at the supermarket. Cook your potatoes skin on, drain and add some cooked chopped bacon and chives, and pour the dressing over while the potatoes are hot so the dressing is absorbed. It’s so tasty. Eat it warm.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Sounds lovely and the same as I do, except more French or vinaigrette dressing. I usually like to make my own dressing but the Paul Newman’s brand has an especially nice flavour.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Well done you .. and I think your version sounds much nicer.
    My mother used to make a most wonderful German potato salad of which there would never be a skerrick left in the bowl: it was potatoes boiled first then peeled and sliced, green beans done in the bean-slicer, onion sliced as fine as whoever had that job could do slice ’em, and last but by no means least, chopped parsley. If I remember correctly, these were put into the salad bowl in layers, with nought but olive oil and salt between. It had to be parsley on the top, of course .. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I must have made the cardinal sin of peeling the potatoes first as this seems to be a common theme from the comments. I also like your mum’s addition of parsley on top, as I can nibble parsley straight out of the garden. This is a different way of making it though – in layers and I like that it is a german variety. Was your mother of German heritage?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There was a bit of Deutsch there, as well as Scottish and English ! 🙂 She spoke 5 languages – one of which was German. She was .. erhmm .. very bright,

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Mmmm yum in either case. My parents make it with boiled skinless potatoes, mayo, sour cream, raw onions, and some herbs. Nothing red in it! I have never tried a salad with potatoes still in their skin. I guess they must be really young for this recipe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Manja. I use small new potatoes- I rather like the flavour they add and the skins have so much goodness that is thrown away if they are peeled. Your parents use the same sour cream and Mayo mix that I usually use.
      The onions are red salad onions – yes?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I enjoyed your potato salad story. I inherited a recipe for New York deli style potato salad. It was in demand for every summer holiday party. The neighbors here in North Carolina are beginning to eat it sparingly. If I live long enough, they are going to love it. A traditional Southern potato salad is quite different.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. In NY the boiled, peeled, and sliced potatoes are marinated for 24 hours in a hot mixture of vinegar, a little oil, salt, sugar, onions, and dry mustard. Drain and add Hellman’s mayonnaise. Where I grew up in West Tennessee, people added hard boiled eggs to cubed potatoes, and the dressing could have been mayo or salad dressing. It was sweeter than its northern cousin.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I guess the further west you go, the more you hit some European or Scandi influence? Hence the addition of eggs, but I am just guessing.
          I would like both versions, and marinating the potatoes for 24 hours is a great idea for a more robust flavour.


  6. I love potato salad as long as it’s dressed with mayonnaise. I don’t mind if sour cream or yogurt are added, but I’m not keen on an oil dressing. I always add boiled eggs, chopped ham, and loads of chopped mint.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Potato ‘Patarto’ – Danish Salad On Sunday, September 19, 2021, Something to Ponder About wrote:

    > Forestwood posted: ” A dear friend turned the grand age of 80 this week > and, for her party, asked the guests not to bring gifts, but instead bring > some food. She politely suggested I bring some Potato Salad. Sounds simple > enough in principle, but not in practice. Ordi” >


  8. My husband is Danish and has never expressed a craving for the salad recipe you described. My secret recipe is simply to boil the potatoes and add them to the store-bought potato salad. It always gets compliments, believe it or not! I used to make it from scratch with mayonnaise and green onions as my mother made, but my “new” recipe is more popular. Go figure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is a surprise, but then if your local store uses similar ingredients to the ones you like, and possibly a little bit of sugar, as one commenter suggested it would taste really good. In fact, all these variations sound delightful. You can’t really go wrong with potato salad. I guess my Danish friends are a bit old school.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a day to remember and the birthday girl had a whale of a time. I will catch up with her later this week to see what she really thought of the salad – and she will tell me straight!
      I am sure you have a few different iterations of potato salad in your kitchen. Do you have a favourite?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess so. Most of it was eaten so that is a good sign, Donna. I will find out later this week when I visit my friend, as she has a way of telling it like it is, straight and direct while still doing it in a nice way.


Everyone is important. What do you have to say?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.