This salad brings back so many memories for me…
My Mom and Dad entertained a lot. As soon as the last guest would leave, my sisters and I would bee-line to the kitchen. Like a production line, we’d empty out the fridge of all of the “party” food, rip the plastic wrap off of everything and sit around the table noshing and chatting. I have no idea how this routine ever began, but I so enjoyed it. I was really little, but I do know, that the Salade Russe was always my most favorite post-party-midnight-snack. My Mom made this often when she entertained. I remember it being on every holiday table my entire life.
Let’s address the
white pink elephant in the room, shall we? As I photographed this, I kept wondering what you’d think of a pink potato salad. I get it. It’s odd. Truly, this is incredibly delicious. So much so, that I will confess, I ate so much of it after setting up my photo shoot…then rushed to get it done so I could eat some more. And…really, with spring and Easter celebrations around the corner, wouldn’t this be the perfect shade of pink? *wink-wink*
Salade Russe or Russian Salad has so many variations. Some include beets, but the original did not. You may never find two identical recipes. They can include any combination of vegetables and some even include pickles and meats. Its roots date back to the 1800’s, created by a famous chef in Moscow. It is actually a very popular salad in most of Europe. In the United States, traditional potato salad is commonplace, this version…not so much. Let’s change that.
I’ve lightened up my Mom’s recipe. In place of mayonnaise, I use a nice thick Greek yogurt. I do add a smidgen of mayo just for a bit of flavor, but you can certainly leave it out. Traditional Salade Russe is made with vinegar and a bit of mustard. I love the freshness of lemon instead. It adds a nice brightness that you can’t get from the vinegar.
Beet and Potato Salad (Salade Russe)
1 pound russet potatoes (about 2 large), cut into 1/2 inch dice
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed in a colander
1/2 small red onion, finely diced
1/2 cup celery heart with leaves, finely sliced
1 large carrot, finely diced
8 ounces roasted beets (about 3 beets), cut into 1/2 inch dice
3 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup non fat plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
In a medium saucepan, add the cubes of potato and cover with water to an inch above the potatoes. Add a bit of sea salt to the water. Place the pan on high heat on the stove and bring to a rapid boil, stirring occasionally. Once the water boils, the potatoes will cook quickly, in about 2 to 3 minutes (or longer if the cubes are larger). Test by sticking a fork in the center of a cube. If it splits, it’s done. Immediately, remove from the heat and drain in a colander. Rinse the potatoes gently with cold water to stop the cooking. Set colander of potatoes aside.
Once you are done chopping all of your vegetables, whisk to combine the yogurt, mayonnaise, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the chopped vegetables and the potatoes to the bowl. Gently, using a rubber spatula, fold to combine all of the ingredients. Chill in the fridge for several hours before serving.
- This salad is even better the next day and the color deepens as well. Just give it a nice toss before serving.
- For entertaining a larger crowd, feel free to double this recipe.
- You can roast your own beets or look for pre-cooked beets packaged in the produce section.