Traditional Russian Salads
Welcome to this week’s edition of Matryoshka’s Diary. You asked us about traditional Russian salads, so this week our author Elena will share a few of her favourite recipes.
Popular salads in Russia
Many salads, such as cucumber and tomato or cucumber and dill, used to be strictly seasonal and prepared with fresh vegetables straight from the garden or farmer’s market. Others, like salad Olivier, are made for special occasions throughout the year.
This Russian Vinegret Salad with Beets and Sauerkraut is a very popular Russian salad. I think every Russian person has either made it or tried it. Most people who make this salad use their own pickled cabbage but sauerkraut works just as well. This salad is great for parties because you can make it a day ahead. It tastes even better the next day.
Ingredients for the Vinegret salad
3 medium beets (or 2 (14.5 oz) cans of beets, drained)
3 medium potatoes
3 medium carrots
1/2 cup sauerkraut, drained
3 medium pickles
2 Tbsp sunflower or olive oil
1 Tbsp white vinegar
1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1. In a medium pot, boil beets for 1 hour or until it can easily be pierced with a knife. OR use canned beets which don’t require any cooking. You can either peel beets before cooking or peel them after you boiled them.
2. In a separate pot, boil potatoes and carrots for about 30 minutes or until a knife goes smoothly through the potatoes. Don’t overcook the potatoes.
3. Drain the vegetables and let them cool down (to room temperature).
4. Peel the skin from the potatoes, beets and carrots, then dice pickles, beets, potatoes, carrots. Place diced beets in a separate bowl.
5. Finely dice onion.
6. Mix beets with 1st Tbsp of Sunflower or Olive Oil separately (to prevent other vegetables from coloring).
7. Mix together beets and the rest of ingredients with the 2nd Tbsp of Sunflower or Olive oil and 1 Tbsp of vinegar. Put in the fridge for a few hours. Enjoy!
Herring Under the Fur Coat (Shuba)
This is one of my favourite Russian salads. I once made it for the New Year celebration and it has been an absolute hit! While the traditional recipe has some herring in it, I like to experiment by replacing herring with smoked salmon. Australian guests had a second round and asked for a recipe! This Shuba with Salmon salad looks like a fur coat, hence the name. Shuba (Cалат “шуба”) means a fur coat. Herring is used in the original recipe but I like to experiment by adding smoked salmon instead.
Ingredients for Shuba:
1 lb smoked salmon
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 to 4 medium potatoes
3 to 4 medium beets, (or use 2 cans beets which don’t require cooking)
4 medium carrots
1 1/2 cups real mayonnaise
How Make Shuba with Salmon:
1. If you want to cook your own beets: place beets in boiling water (enough water to cover the beets). Boil for 1 hour, or until soft when pierced with a knife. When cooked, remove from boiling water and them let cool down. Peel the cooked beets (I use gloves for this).
2. In a separate pot, boil whole potatoes and carrots for 30 minutes, or until smooth when pierced with a knife. Remove from boiling water and let them cool down. Peel the cooked potatoes and carrots.
3. Place 4 eggs in another pot of salted cold water and bring them to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes. Let eggs cool down to room temperature. Remove the shell.
LAYERS OF SHUBA:
1. Chop the salmon into small pieces and place evenly on the bottom of a large dish.
2. Using a grater, shred the potatoes evenly over the salmon & spread onion over potatoes.
3. Spread ¾ cup mayo evenly over the onions.
4. Using the same grater, shred the beets evenly over the mayo.
5. Then shred the carrots evenly over the beets.
6. Spread the remaining ¾ cup mayo over the carrots.
7. Using the smaller holes of the cheese grater, shred the eggs evenly over the mayo and you are done.
We hope you enjoy making and eating these two traditional salads. What are your favourite Russian recipes?
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