Sunday, October 3, 2010

Russian Salad

I was able to try out a new cookbook today:

Susan R. Friedland's Shabbat Shalom: Recipes and Menus for the Sabbath.

I actually bought this cookbook for my father last spring. And I suppose I still mean to send it to him, though I seem to have forgotten to pack it up and ship it to him prior to either Father's Day or his birthday. (Am I really that cookbook obsessed that I can't let one out of my grasp? Not even one purchased as a gift for someone? Hmmm...) Well, it'll make it out to him eventually. And in the meantime, I can make a recipe or two and let him know how they turn out. It'll be all part of his gift. I'm helping him decide which recipes are good.

Today I was dealing with a serious beet overstock situation. I was making a triple batch of borscht and needed a side dish. Happily, this salad was a snappy side for my soup and used-up even more beets.

Russian Salad
1 lb beets
2 lbs potatoes
1 cup cubed carrot
1 cup shelled peas, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp white-wine vinegar
2 Tbls olive oil
1 cup minced scallion
2 medium cucumbers,  seeded and cubed
2 hard-boiled eggs
2 Tbls capers [I omitted these. Didn't have any.]
1/4 cup minced dill

My short-hand version of her directions:

First cook the beets (steam them in a covered dish in the oven until tender--about 50-90 mins). And you boil the potatoes until tender. Both beets & potatoes should then be cooled and then eventually skinned and cut into same-sized pieces.

Boil the carrot in salted water for 15 mins and add the peas for the last 15 seconds. Drain.

Mix the mayo, mustard, vinegar, olive oil, and scallion together to make the dressing.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Garnish with the hard-boiled eggs and capers [if you have them] and dill.

Purple food is the best!

Very tasty. I'm not usually one to single the praises of cold potato anything, but adding the cucumber, peas, and beets to the potatoes gave this salad a sophistication far beyond anything its plain potato salad cousin can muster. I do believe I'll make this again.

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