German Picnic Salad

A nutritious and wonderfully flavorful salad packed with cheese, beans, bell peppers, tomatoes, corn, and cucumbers, all tossed with a tasty vinaigrette.  Reminiscent of some of the salads I grew up with in Germany, this German Picnic Salad recipe comes together in minutes and is perfect to enjoy outdoors on picnics, for your backyard BBQ, potlucks, or under the umbrella on a back porch on a warm summer evening!

To accompany on you for your picnic bring along some German Plum Cake or German Apple Cake for dessert and then wash everything down with a refreshing Apfelschorle!

german picnic salad recipe cheese vinaigrette cucumbers kidney beans tomatoes corn peppers

Though I do try to exercise self-control, I’m a bit of a cheese addict.  Growing up in Europe with regular access to the world’s best cheeses rendered me into something of a cheese snob.   I can’t help it.  The ability to appreciate fine cheeses was cultivated within me from childhood.  From my geographical vantage point in southern Germany, I could jump in the car and, within just a few hours in any direction, could be tasting cheese in France, Italy, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Hungary, Switzerland, etc.  Then, when I moved to England, I fell in love with English cheddar (what cheddar is supposed to taste like) and a whole variety of cheeses from the British Isles.

Several years ago when we lived in Washington State it was summer and I wanted to put together a picnic to take to a scenic overlook we love at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma.  I decided to make a German Picnic Salad featuring, of course, cheese.

Todd and I had a special little spot there that we loved visiting.  It’s hidden away and offers the perfect view of the Puget Sound.  Elevated up on a ledge that juts out over the water, this secluded spot is the perfect place for a sunset picnic.  So for our date night we decided to take our German picnic salad up to that spot while the kids got to have “grandparent fix.”

Pt Defiance 10 sm

Gorgeous views from our picnic spot.

Pt Defiance Collage 1

And so, with the mood and the setting complete, we pulled out our German Picnic Salad along with some authentic German pretzels from a nearby German bakery.  It was perfect.

German Party Salad Collage 1

German Picnic Salad Recipe

Let’s get started!

Place all the cut up veggies, beans, corn, and the cheese in a large mixing bowl.

German Party Salad prep 8

Chop up some fresh chives, parsley and marjoram.

Note:  Fresh herbs are a must for this dish.

German Party Salad prep 7

Whisk the oil, cider vinegar, salt, pepper, sugar, and mustard in a bowl until emulsified and then add the fresh herbs.

German Party Salad prep 1

Pour the vinaigrette over the salad.

German Party Salad prep 10

German Party Salad prep 11

Stir to combine, cover, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours (the longer the better), stirring occasionally.

Remove the salad from the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving.  Enjoy it as a side dish or as a main course served with some crusty bread.

german picnic salad recipe cheese cucumbers tomatoes pepper kidney beans corn vinaigrette herbs


german picnic salad recipe cheese cucumbers tomatoes pepper kidney beans corn vinaigrette herbs

Originally published on The Daring Gourmet July 17, 2013

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