Ensalada Rusa (Russian Salad)

Think Pink: Potato-Beet-n-Egg Salad
At every Dominican gathering, there are a few things you can always count on: Family, Food, and Music. That means pernil, platanos, and a personal favorite, ensalada rusa — “Russian Salad.” Now, I can’t be sure how truly Russian this is, but what I can tell you is that it’s a Dominican classic. I already know Mama Tilde will be serving this up for Nochebuena, Christmas Eve, which is when we traditionally eat the big holiday meal. I’ve always found it goes really well with Tilde’s sometimes-dry-yet-somehow-still-succulent pork, taken in one forkful. It’s also been very well-received by my Polish friends (one word: potatoes), so I’m thinking it’s a keeper for when ‘Chefski and I open up our fusion restaurant one day.
Other Dominican traditions include dressing the birthday girl 
to match her Dominican birthday cake!
(Caro, Age: 4) 
Sometimes my mother makes it without the beets, but I’m a fan of the pink hue the dish takes on with this addition, so I always add a can. You can also add peas or corn or carrots… whatever you like.

The Egg Salad of My Childhood
Ingredients
4 medium potatoes
5 eggs
1 can sliced beets
1-2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
capful of white vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
Directions
1. Peel and halve the potatoes, and boil in a large pot of salted water until a fork pokes through them easily. Don’t overcook, otherwise you’ll have some mashed potatoes.
2. Meanwhile, hard boil your eggs (sometimes I do this in the same pot as the potatoes, so that they all cook simultaneously).
3. While your eggs are hard boilin’, drain the can of beets and cut the slices into cubes. Throw those in a large bowl.
4. Once your eggs are ready, set them aside to cool. Once they aren’t too hot to handle, peel the shells off and cut the eggs into cubes. Throw these into the bowl with the beets.
5. When the potatoes are ready, drain them of their water and run cool water over them (this is to make them easier to handle). You’ve probably figured out the pattern by now: slice and dice them into large cubes. Throw ’em in the bowl.

6. Add the mayo to the bowl, along with a bit of salt and pepper and the vinegar. Fold and stir everything with a large spoon or spatula. Adjust salt and pepper if necessary.

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This entry was published on December 20, 2010 at 1:40 am. It’s filed under side dish and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Ensalada Rusa (Russian Salad)

  1. Every picture I see of baby Carolyn (which come way too few and far between) makes me wish we had class together. Or at least saw each other more than in passing.

  2. Aw, Catherine! This has been a long semester without you 😦

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