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This salad is made in Finland in two ways: either with herring (rosolli) or without (punajuurisalaatti). It's my favorite beet salad, and although I've never made it including the herring I'm sure it would be tasty that way, too! Based on a recipe from "The Finnish Cookbook" by Beatrice A. Ojakangas. First prepared in our household by my husband Mike. :)
- 2 medium potatoes, cooked, peeled, and diced (I prefer white or large new potatoes, which have a less grainy texture)
- 2 tart apples, peeled and diced
- 2 carrots, peeled, cooked, and diced
- 2 tablespoons dried onion flakes
- 2 medium dill pickles, diced or grated
- 3⁄4 cup diced pickled herring (optional) or 3⁄4 cup salted herrings (optional) or 3⁄4 cup minced sardines (optional) or 3⁄4 cup anchovy (optional)
- 1⁄8 teaspoon white pepper
- 2 cups cooked beets, peeled and diced
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons beet juice
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 dash sugar
- crumbled bacon (optional)
- Combine the potatoes, apples, carrots, onion, pickles, white pepper, and herring (if you're using it).
- Mix together the sour cream with the lemon juice, beet juice, salt, and sugar until well blended to make the sour cream dressing.
- Traditionally (and this is how you would want to make it for a dinner party), just before serving you would carefully add the beets- because if the beets are added too long before serving, the salad will turn a deep pink, whereas some people prefer it tinted only mildly pink; then you would turn into a salad bowl lined with crisp lettuce and serve chilled with the sour cream dressing mixture on the side.
- However, I make the salad for picnics and potlucks and so I mix it all together - not worrying about any steps in preparation - just stir it all together at once, put it in the serving container, put crumbled bacon over the top, and let it chill for at least an hour before I let anybody at it; it comes out nicely bright pink, which I find attractive and kids like.
- For Vegetarian option omit the fish and the bacon.
I served this at a Scandinavian party and the results were positive. I did however add more lemon juice and more sugar. I baked the potatoes the day ahead and peeled them. It went over quite well and was pretty too.
I made this recipe before my wife did from my Finnish cookbook and it really is a good beet salad. We took it to a potluck and some people were put off by the pink color but liked it when they tasted it. It has an unusual combination of ingredients but its worth making and trying for yourself.