Growing up ‘DownUnder’, you get to grips with hot summers quickly. There’s no avoiding the heat, and when you’re working a farm, you need family favourites, or Australian classic summer salads, so see you through.

These salads tend to be quick to make, can be made ahead of time, and are fantastic cold from the fridge! With the heat we’ve had this week in the UK, I’ve been recalling my childhood memories.

Days spent lounging around on the cold Victorian tiled verandah, under the wisteria, drinking cold Cottees cordial (always lime!). My other favourite haunt was under the willow trees, dangling my feet in the ice-cold spring-fed dam.

Summer in Australia, by the beach or at home, salads are classic fare!

We’d often get weeks of hot weather at a time, a cool day was 25-30˚C, our hottest 45˚C+. As the temperature rose, we’d long for the ‘Southerly’ to kick in. That blast off the Antarctic that would bring respite for a few days at least.

During those cooler days, we’d prepare for the next heatwave. There would be baking, boiling, and loads of chopping. We’d cook off as much food as would be needed for the next week, and store it in multiple fridges or freezers.

It’s the only way to cope with heat that unbearable.

Preparing Australian Classic Summer Salads

This week I revisited some of those recipes, my Mum’s coleslaw, and hot potato salad. It’s not served hot, but mixed together whilst the spuds are fresh from the pot, so the sauce coats evenly and soaks in too!

The great thing about these recipes is you don’t need a lot of stuff to make them. All the ingredients are basic, and so is the equipment you’ll use. 

Whether you’re cooking for yourself, significant other, a family, or for a big party – those were the days – these recipes are easy to scale up or down. Not that leftovers last that long!

So, now you need to know how to make coleslaw salad, or how to make potato salad!

Fortunately, both are really easy! You’ll need a large mixing bowl, chopping board, sharp knife, and a large saucepan or pot for boiling your potatoes. If you have one, you can always use a food processor too, to save you all that slicing work! I’ve included some links below for equipment, and ingredients, if you need them as well.

You can always check out the LPaG page on our recommended equipment and recommended ingredients (coming soon) if you’re need anything.

How to make Coleslaw:

I’m all about efficiency in the kitchen, so I use my food processor to whizz through the job. You can cut it all up by hand, it’ll just take a bit longer. Either way, you want lots of fine and short cuts. Not big chunky bits!

When all your veg is chopped, dump it in the mixing bowl, and start mixing in the sauce ingredients. Mix that all up, then let it marinade, for best results in terms of flavour and texture, leave it for 24hrs!

Australian classic summer salad coleslaw

How to make Potato Salad:

This couldn’t be easier! Just clean and slice up your potatoes, cut them up into bite-size pieces. Place the potatoes into the pot and boil until tender. While cooking, get your sauce ingredients ready, add them to the large mixing bowl and combine.

When the spuds are cooked, drain them and add them to the bowl. Just like the coleslaw, the flavour’s best if left for 24hrs, but don’t feel bad if you can’t wait before tucking in!

Australian classic summer salad potato salad

Anyway, here’s the equipment we’d recommend, plus the suggested ingredients, and the recipes!

Australian Classic Summer Salad Equipment:

Summer Salad Ingredients:

Now, on to our two recipes!

Australian Coleslaw

Finely sliced cabbage, carrot, onion, and scallions with a tart mayonnaise dressing, perfect for hot summer days!
Course Entree, Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Australian, European
Keyword cabbage, carrot, coleslaw, easy, onion, salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 8 Portions

Equipment

  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Mixing bowl
  • Food processor – optional

Ingredients

  • 1 head, small cabbage remove core
  • 2 Lrg carrots
  • 1 med onion
  • ½ bunch scallions or spring onions
  • 250 ml mayonnaise
  • 50 ml lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper

Instructions

  • Prepare all the vegetables by removing tops, tails, and outer skins
  • Finely slice, 2-3mm, all the vegetables – or use a 'fine' blade on a food processor
  • Add all the vegetables to a large mixing bowl
  • Add the mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt and pepper, mix thoroughly
  • When mixed completely, transfer to storage containers and refrigerate for 1-2 hrs.
  • You'll get the best flavour by leaving it to infuse overnight

Australian Potato Salad

Made whilst hot, and given time to mellow, this hot potato salad is a sure fire winner during summer's heat!
Course Main Course, Salad, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American, Australian
Keyword mayonnaise, potato, potatoes, salad
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 Portions

Equipment

  • Large saucepan
  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Mixing bowls

Ingredients

  • 1 kg potatoes new potatoes are perfect!
  • ½ Lrg onion finely sliced into ¼ rings
  • 250 ml Mayonnaise
  • 20 gr chives chopped
  • 1 tsp salt – for seasoning
  • ½ tsp pepper – to season

Instructions

  • Wash and prepare the potatoes by cutting them into bite-size pieces.
  • Place the potatoes into a large saucepan, add enough water to come up and just cover them. You can add a pinch of salt now if the potatoes are older.
  • Bring potatoes to the boil, and simmer until tender when pierced with a knife. This should take about 10-15mins.
  • Whilst potatoes are cooking, add the sliced onion, salt and pepper, and mayonnaise in a large mixing bowl. Combine thoroughly.
  • When cooked, drain the potatoes and immediately add them to the mayonnaise mix. Thoroughly coat the potatoes, then cover loosely with a towel.
  • Leave to 'cool' for 10-15mins, turning occasionally – that way the potatoes will absorb some of the mayo, and become super creamy.
  • When cold, add the chives, mix, and transfer to storage containers. Refrigerate until needed. After 24hrs the flavour will have improved dramatically!

Notes

You can also add cooked bacon, boiled eggs, scallions or spring onions, and many other additional tasty treats to this recipe. It’s a great base, and an iconic salad as it is!

Thanks for checking out this post on how to make coleslaw, and how to make potato salad. I do hope you make them soon, and if you do, please come back and post a comment, or share a photo with the tag: #LarderPantryandGarden.

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