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Pickled Herring Salad with Sour Apples & Potatoes


Pickled Herring Salad with Sour Apples & Potatoes

Pickled Herring Salad

Photo © Jaap van Rijn
This isn't your average potato salad; tangy Granny Smith apples, spicy horseradish and potatoes encased in creamy crème fraîche offer a fabulous foil for the fresh-sour flavors of pickled herring.

Because this recipe uses pickled herring from a bottle, it's a great store-cupboard stand-by. Pickled herring is also easier to find abroad than regular 'maatjes-style' herring. Look out for bottles of pickled herring on websites that sell Dutch food items, or if you live in the Netherlands, simply pick it up at your local supermarket or fishmonger.

This recipe is from Het Nederlands Viskookboek (or 'The Dutch Fish Cookbook'), and has been translated and adapted for this site and published here with the permission of the publisher.

Serve this salad as a lunch dish, or enjoy as a starter, side salad or snack.

Yield: Serves 4.


  • ¾ lb (350 g) waxy potatoes, peeled
  • 2 tsp horseradish
  • 3 tablespoons crème fraîche
  • 8 pickled herrings, from a pot (keep the liquid)
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled
  • ½ a lemon, juice only
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp chopped dill
  • Few drops of Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • A soup pot
  • A cutting board
  • A chef's knife
  • A mixing bowl


In a large soup pot, boil the potatoes in plenty of salted water until just cooked but still firm. Place the cooked potatoes in a bowl under cold running water so that they will cool quickly. Cut the boiled potatoes into slices (about a quarter-inch or half a centimeter thick).

For the dressing, mix the horseradish with the crème fraîche and add 1 tablespoon of pickle liquor from the herring pot. Mix thoroughly and season with pepper, a little salt and a dash of Worcestershire sauce. Set the dressing aside.

Cut the pickled herring into 1-inch strips (about 3 centimeters). If you cut the herring on the diagonal, you'll get lovely long pieces.

Thinly slice the apples and sprinkle with a little lemon juice to keep them from discoloring.

In a large bowl, mix the potatoes slices, herring pieces, apple slices, onion and dill. Add the dressing and mix together well. Taste again and season to taste with salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce.

This salad can be made well in advance and stored in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it. Arrange the salad in a serving dish or salad bowl and serve cold.

10 More Herring Recipes:

  • Herring & Herb Relish Recipe
  • Crispy Herring with Mustard Sauce Recipe
  • Smoked Herring Fishcakes Recipe
  • Herrings in Oil Recipe
  • Polenta and Herring Recipe (Polenta e Scopeton)
  • Herring with an Oatmeal-Nut Crust Recipe
  • Smoked Herring Recipe
  • Herring Rollmops Recipe
  • Solomon Gundy Recipe
  • Labskaus Recipe
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