Saturday, 7 June 2014

Recipe: Russian beet salad

Nothing beats a beet! I love the sweet taste and most especially the bright purple colour of beets. This potato and beet salad recipe was taught to me by a Russian friend. My only changes are using apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar and adding fresh mint. My friend told me that adding a handful of sweet peas is also a nice addition, but I haven't tried it myself. Unlike the heavy mayonaise-drenched salads featured at many a summer barbecue, this salad has a delightful mix of sweet and salty and won't spoil quickly in the sun. I love the contrasting colours of the red-purple beets and the green apples. I wonder what this would taste like with sweet potatoes.

Look at that beautiful colour!

Make sure to dice the onion nice and small.

Recipe: Russian beet salad
Serves: 6

-3 medium-sized beets, in 3 cm cubes
-4 medium-sized potatoes, in 3 cm cubes
-1 green apple, in 2 cm cubes
-1/4 cup white or yellow onion, diced very finely
-1/4 cup sliced gherkin pickles
-1/4 cup olive oil
-1/4 cup white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
-salt and pepper to taste
-a handful of fresh mint (optional)

1. Boil the beets for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until tender. Add the potatoes to the boiling water about 25 minutes after the beets have been added. The beets and potatoes should both be tender at about the same time because the beets take longer to cook.

2. While to potatoes and beets are boiling, prepare the apple, onion, and pickles.

3. Once the potatoes and beets are tender, drain them. Add all the ingredients except the optional mint into a bowl and mix them together. If you wish, mashing some of the potatoes a little bit with a fork may improve the texture of the salad. You might be worried that the onion will be too strong, but the hot beets and potatoes cook the onion a little when you mix everything together, so it ends up not being too strong.

4. Allow the salad to cool in the fridge. The salad is best if it's left overnight, but it should be good after cooling for at least an hour.

5. Before serving, optionally add some fresh mint.

Enjoy! It's even better a day or two later.

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