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Russian Beet Winter Salad

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  • 2-3 medium potatoes
  • 1 medium beet
  • 3 small to medium carrots
  • 1 can of beans (I prefer butter beans)
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 pickled cucumbers
  • 0.5 bunch of dill
  • dijon mustard
  • olive oil
  • salt and paper to taste.
photo credit: 1worldcafe.com
Ok, so nobody really calls this salad 'winter salad'. There is no 'winter' in the actual name of the salad, but I like to think of it as such because to me it's rather too heavy for a summer or a spring meal. I normally wouldn't be cooking anything like that, winter or summer. I prefer to eat light and avoid lots of starches and carbs, but baby Peaches, who's been living inside my belly for almost 3.5 months, is starting to develop a taste for a heavy, starchy Russian food, and is forcing me to remember my Russian roots. I like to think that my Russian DNA is currently downloading into a little baby I am currently carrying, which is causing me to crave my native food, something I have been happily avoiding for a good 10+years. I wonder if I'll switch to a Korean cuisine when it's turn for my husband's DNA to get downloaded?

As I said, this venigret is a fairly heavy salad, but there is hardly any other kind in Russian cuisine. Our favorite vegetable is potato and our favorite dressing is mayo. Here is all you have to know about making a salad a-la Russia: Just boil, peel and dice several different kinds of root vegetables, mix them up with any of the following, also diced (boiled eggs, herring, canned fish, grated cheese, canned peas, mushrooms, bologna or any cheap ham, etc), add lots of mayo, mix it all up and there you have yourself a variation of a popular Russian salad. Luckily, venigret is one of the healthier Russian salads; it has no mayo...

To make it:
* Boil, peel and dice (any size, really; my mother prefers to dice all her veggies into small cubes, however I prefer it when the cubes are much chunkier) potatoes, carrots and beets. Don't over-boil your veggies!
* Dice onion and pickles into small pieces.
* Combine all diced ingredients in one mixing bowl.
* Open a can of beans, drain. Add beans to the rest of the ingredients.
* Finely chop dill, add to the rest of the ingredients.
* Salt and pepper to taste. *Add 2 table spoons of mustard, generously drizzle with olive oil, mix well and serve.


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