This recipe is largely inspired by a combination of recipes from the Moosewood New Classics and Very Vegetarian cookbooks. It is a bit time intensive, so it is not the kind of dish I prepare often, but it is fun for dinner parties, and most of the preparation can be done the day before.
When many Americans (especially Midwesterners) hear “German Potato Salad”, they frequently think of a warm, vinegary potato salad, sometimes including bacon. In fact, this sort of potato salad can even be found in cans in the supermarket. In my numerous trips to Germany, I can’t recall ever eating potato salad of this sort. Most of the potato salad I ate there was more similar to American potato salad, containing mayonnaise, and sometimes boiled eggs. I definitely had quite a few other variants though, and my favorite one was from my friend, Markus Hofbauer. This one is a bit more similar to the Midwestern vision of potato salad, as it contains vinegar, but is usually served cold or at room temperature. I don’t think that Markus put any dill in his version, but I think it makes a nice addition. And, because it’s vegan, you don’t have to worry about anyone getting food poisoning from eating your potato salad that has been sitting out during a hot summer picnic.
This recipe is based on one from Almost Vegetarian Entertaining, but over the years I kept tweaking until I got it just how I like it. Depending on my mood, I sometimes use other beans, such as great northern, cannellini, pinto, or adzuki.
This is just like my grandma used to make it, except instead of thickening with milk and flour, I use water and cornstarch
Barley used to be my favorite grain – until I discovered quinoa. Quinoa is a South American grain, once a staple of the Incas, rich in protein and minerals. The Incas referred to it as the “mother grain”. It is quite small and light, and has a very pleasant texture. You can find it most health food stores. So far in my life, everyone for whom I have made this dish had never had quinoa before, and everyone enjoyed it very much. Enjoy.