Ensalada Rusa, or Russian Salad, is a Peruvian side dish my family always makes for holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. This fuchsia-forward salad is comprised of finely-cut jewels– potatoes, green beans, hard-boiled eggs, carrots and celery; but the main gem here is the beet.
Earthy and slightly sweet, beets bring life (and extreme color) to this salad. Composing all parts together in a bowl is nothing short of delightful, watching the purple stain grow from a whisper to a shout, bleeding dominance.
Ensalada Rusa is fairly straight-forward to make but it can take some time to prepare the vegetables. You can hunker down and do them all in one fell swoop or carry the load out over the course of a couple days, which is what I did. Either way will produce a wonderfully tasting salad that will feast your eyes and hunger.
- 1 1/4 pounds beets, washed and trimmed
- 1 1/4 pounds red potatoes, peeled, diced
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 pound green beans, washed, trimmed, and blanched; chopped small
- 3 small carrots, peeled and diced, about 1 cup
- 3 stalks celery, diced, about 1 cup
- 2 cups mayonnaise, preferably homemade
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Wrap beets tightly into a pouch of aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick easily pierces the middle of the fattest beet. Unwrap from aluminum foil and let cool for 30 minutes. Peel skin under running cool water, and cut into small dice. Put in a large bowl.
- Add 2 quarts of cool water into a large pot with 2 tablespoons of salt, sugar, and white or rice wine vinegar. Add the diced potatoes, and bring water to a boil. Let boil for 10 minutes or until a toothpick easily pierces the middle of the potatoes. Drain, and spread out on baking sheet to cool. Add to large bowl with beets.
- Add 3 quarts of cool water into a large pot and bring to a boil. With a slotted spoon, carefully submerge the eggs. Let them boil for 30 seconds, then turn the heat down to a simmer and cover with lid. Cook for 11 minutes. Shock in ice water for 15 minutes before peeling under cool, running water. Chop.
- Add the blanched green beans, carrots, celery, mayonnaise, salt, and pepper to large bowl and combine. Add chopped eggs and combine gently.
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// More Peruvian salads and things: