This unique take on potato salad gives you all the great Ham and Swiss on Rye flavors to serve along side any dish. This would be awesome with pot roast, hamburgers, a whole roast chicken, or pork chops!
I love the distinctive flavor of caraway seeds in rye bread. It kinda sucks that the only time I really get to enjoy caraway is when I’m eating a seeded rye bread sandwich. So, I took all the flavors from a ham and Swiss on rye bread sandwich and incorporated them in to this potato salad.
Get yourself a nice chunk of ham from your grocery store. A ham steak should work but I go with a 3 pound ham just so I have some left overs to make… oh I dunno, creamy ham and pea pasta? Mostly I just pick at it when I want a snack. You can pick up any small block of Swiss cheese to grate in with the potatoes when we’re ready to fold this all together. The cheese will met away but you’ll be left with that little funkiness in the background.
For the caraway seeds, we can grind them up in a spice mill or (like I did) in a mortar and pestle. Once you have a freshly ground powder, add a couple teaspoons to the potato salad. You can add salt and pepper as you like (I like LOTS) and maybe a few pinches of paprika or cayenne.
Aside from the ham and Swiss and seeded rye bread, the next essential ingredient is the deli mustard. Then of course it makes sense that this potato salad would need to be dressed in mustard. Sounds good to me! We’ll boil some russet potatoes just beyond tender so when they’re folded with the mustard they can really absorb the spicy vinegarness. Think of slathering all that mustard on your rye bread and how the bread gets just a little wet after sitting around for a while. That’s my favorite part.
So we’ve got our ham and our Swiss and our heavenly caraway seeds folded together with our potatoes and deli mustard. I suppose that concludes our potato salad. But wait, there’s more! I was really happy with the end result here but it needed a little something. A little brightness, a little crunch. That came in the form of diced onions. Diced onions, although not typically found in a ham and Swiss on rye sandwich (although it seems like a darn great idea to me), are not to be left out of this recipe. In fact, you should probably also add some diced up dill pickles while you’re at it. Cause what Hamm and Swiss on Rye is complete without a pickle?!
This recipe was a lot of fun to make. Countless hours driving around for work gives me a lot of time to conceptualize recipes in my head. My notebook is filling up with interesting twists on classic recipes. If you’re new to cooking, it’s important to learn the classics to understand how flavors and textures work together before you start riffing and creating something new. I’m pleased that this potato salad came out exactly how I had envisioned it. The only thing that could make this better is if you go out and make it for yourself!
Ham and Swiss on Rye Potato Salad
- 3 lbs russet potatoes
- 1 1/2 tbs freshly ground caraway seeds
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 cup diced ham
- 1 cup grated Swiss cheese
- 1/3 cup deli mustard
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp pepper
- pinch of paprika optional
- Dice potatoes into 3/4 inch cubes. Boil in heavily salted water under just beyond tender, about 12 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool for five minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine the mustard, ham, Swiss, freshly ground caraway, and onions. Add the potatoes and fold until incorporated. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add additional ham, onions, and some parsley to garnish.