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Beet and Potato Salad (Salade Russe)

Beet and Potato Salad (Salade Russe) from Taste Love & Nourish

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. 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) from Taste Love & Nourish

Beet and Potato Salad (Salade Russe)

1 lb. russet potatoes (about 2 large), cut into 1/2 inch dice
1/2 C. frozen peas, thawed in a colander
1/2 small red onion, finely diced
1/2 C. celery heart with leaves, finely sliced
1 large carrot, finely diced
8 oz. roasted beets (about 3 beets), cut into 1/2 inch dice
3 T. fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/4 C. non fat plain Greek yogurt
1 T. mayonnaise
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1 t. sea salt
1/2 t. 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.

Serves 6

    Notes:

  • 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.

 

Beet and Potato Salad (Salade Russe) from Taste Love & Nourish

Shrimp with Pancetta and Peas Over Soft Polenta

Shrimp with Pancetta and Peas Over Soft Polenta from Taste Love & Nourish

As much as cooking is a passion of mine, finding a meal that comes together quickly, simply and impressively is like finding a five pound box of jumbo shrimp at my door! So, imagine my happiness right now…I’m one of thirty food bloggers chosen to participate in a Shrimp Showdown hosted by OXO and the NFI Shrimp Council. So, with a box full of OXO tools and another of jumbo shrimp, I’ve come up with a simple recipe perfect for a quick weeknight meal and special enough for fuss-free entertaining.

We love seafood, but shrimp may be our favorite. What I love about shrimp is its versatility. It just melds with any variation of flavors. I have to tell you, I had a very long list of ideas for this project and at some point, I’ll share them all with you, but I wanted this to be something simple that can become your go-to recipe. The shrimp, as you know, cooks in mere minutes, so, pairing it with a quick cooking polenta gives you this perfect dish that looks like you fussed…but you didn’t. No one has to know…I’ll keep that secret!

Shrimp with Pancetta and Peas Over Soft Polenta from Taste Love & Nourish

Shrimp with Pancetta and Peas Over Soft Polenta

Soft Polenta
1 1/2 C. milk (I use a low fat milk)
1 1/2 C. low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 C. quick cooking polenta
1/4 C. ricotta (I use fat free, but use what you have)
1 T. butter
1/8 C. grated Parmesan

Shrimp with Pancetta and Peas
olive oil
4 oz. pancetta, finely diced
approx. 1 lb. jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 C. dry white wine
4 Campari tomatoes, quartered (you can also use about 1/2 C. of grape tomatoes halved)
1 C. peas, fresh or frozen
lemon zest
fresh parsley, roughly chopped

Prepare the polenta first. In a large saucepan over high heat, combine the milk and the broth and bring to a boil. Whisk in the polenta, reduce the heat to low and cook for about two minutes. Add the ricotta, butter and Parmesan. Cook for another 30 seconds. Cover and remove from the heat. Set aside.

In a 12 inch skillet over medium-high heat, drizzle just a tad (about 1 teaspoon) of olive oil and add the pancetta. Cook until the fat is rendered and the pancetta begins to crisp a bit and get golden. Remove the pancetta with a slotted spoon onto a plate. Add the shrimp to the pan and cook for just about 2 minutes per side. Do this in two batches to avoid crowding the pan. Once the shrimp are cooked, move them to the plate with the pancetta. You may need to add another small drizzle of olive oil to the pan. Now, add the onion and be careful to just sweat the onion. You don’t want to brown it. As soon as the onion is translucent, add the garlic. Cook for just a minute and add the white wine. Simmer for another minute and add the tomatoes and peas. After one more minute add the shrimp and pancetta back to the pan and immediately remove the pan from the heat. Toss everything together.

To serve, divide the polenta between four dinner plates, top with the shrimp and pancetta and sprinkle on some lemon zest, parsley and some extra grated Parmesan.

Serves 4

Shrimp with Pancetta and Peas Over Soft Polenta from Taste Love & Nourish

Notes:

  • The polenta will seem a bit loose right after you’ve made it, but this is intentional. As it sits, it will thicken up and become the perfect consistency for serving. If you like it even more loose, feel free to whisk in a tiny bit of warm milk before serving.
  • I love adding the ricotta to this polenta, but if you don’t have any…the recipe will still work fine. It does add a bit of creaminess that I really like.

Another key to bringing this together quickly and easily is working with great tools. I’d never seen this OXO tool before, but their Shrimp Cleaner is very cool! I was intimidated just looking at it, but once I tried it…I was impressed. It removes the shell and the vein in basically one step. Easy peasy. Some of their other tools I used are their 3 Piece Bowl and Colander Set for rinsing the shrimp, the Flexible Kitchen and Herb Snips for snipping fresh parsley and I absolutely love their 12″ Tongs with Silicone Heads. They get used on a daily basis in my kitchen and I love that they don’t scratch my pans in the process.

Lucky you…OXO and the NFI Shrimp Council are giving away a set of those tools and many more along with a $100 Visa card! Click to enter now!

Shrimp with Pancetta and Peas Over Soft Polenta from Taste Love & Nourish

The Shrimp Showdown Giveaway!

Click here to enter to win all of these great OXO Shrimp Tools ($80 value) and a $100 Visa Gift Card from the NFI Shrimp Council!

Disclaimer: This post and giveaway are sponsored by OXO and the NFI Shrimp Council. I was given the tools and the shrimp to provide a review. All opinions are one hundred percent my own.

Take a peek at all of the other food bloggers participating in the Shrimp Showdown!