Dressed Herring Salad

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Dressed Herring Salad or “Shuba”, which literary means “fur coat” in Russian is a beloved national dish. The name is derived from the structure of the dish itself. The ingredients are layered with the herring positioned on the bottom and, therefore, “covered” by the “coat” of other components. It is an absolutely delicious cold appetizer which remains one my husband’s all-time favorites! The layers of flavors provided by seemingly diametrically opposing ingredients such as beets and herring for instance, work amazingly well and all of the components unite to make a pleasing texture in your palate. Until this day this salad is a must for every Russian holiday table, birthday celebration or New Year’s feast. I made my version light on mayonnaise and with vegetables finely grated to enhance the delicateness of texture and taste.

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Serve it in individual clear-glass jars, verrines or any other small vessels you have. The vivid layers of grated potatoes, carrots and beets form a vibrant, rainbow-like appearance and can be a conversation piece! Go fancy and top each serving with a teaspoon of salmon roe, grated boiled egg and dill spring. Not a herring fan? Try substituting it with smoked salmon instead.

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Salmon caviar roe is just a garnishing option and not required. But bursting with savory flavor grains of caviar are a delicious addition to this otherwise simplistic dish.

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Ingredients: potatoes, carrot, beet, chives, herring or smoked salmon (I like Matjes Original herring fillets from Santa Bremor), egg, salmon roe (optional), dill springs, light mayonnaise, bay leave, sea salt.

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Cook all the vegetables in salted boiling water skin on. Let cool and then peel the skin with the paper towels. Grate the potatoes, using the finest grate and set aside in individual bowl.

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Grate the carrot, using the finest grate and set aside in separate bowl as well.

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Cover the beet with cold water; add 2 tablespoons of salt and bay leave and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and boil for 1 to ½ hours (depending on the size). Check for doneness by inserting the knife into the beet. It should be soft in the middle. Transfer it to a plate and let cool completely.

Grate the beet last, otherwise it will stain all the vegetables and you want all the vegetables to preserve their colors. The finest grate will create a more delicate texture to the dish.

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Grate boiled egg, set aside.

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Finely dice the herring. Set aside.

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Instead of onions, I like to use chives for their mild onion taste. Chop them finely and set aside.

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Starts assembling by first layering chopped herring in each individual jar.

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I bought this light mayonnaise called “Moscow Provencal” in Brooklyn’s Russian food  store but any other will work just as fine.

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Then add a layer of grated potatoes, spread them evenly in each dish. Add 1 teaspoon of mayonnaise and spread evenly on top.

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Sprinkle with chives

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Add grated carrot and spread evenly.

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Finish with grate beets, spread evenly as well.

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Add another tablespoon of mayo on top of beets and spread evenly again.

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Layered dish.

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Sprinkle with grated boiled egg on top. At this point, you can cover the glass with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to one day. Bring to room temperature before serving.

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Top with ½ teaspoon of caviar and dill spring.

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Bon Appétit!
Svitlana

Dressed Herring Salad

recipe details

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 2 large potatoes, skin on
  • 1 medium carrot, skin on
  • 1 large beet, skin on
  • 2 tablespoons chives, finely chopped
  • 1 cup (12 oz.) herring (or smoked salmon), finely diced (I like Matjes Original herring fillets from Santa Bremor)
  • 1 egg, boiled and grated
  • Salmon roe (optional)
  • Dill springs
  • Light mayonnaise
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Sea salt

 

Directions

  1.  In a medium pot, put potatoes and carrots with their skin on; pour enough cold water to cover the vegetables completely. Add 2 tablespoons of salt and bay leave; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and boil for 12-15 minutes. Check for doneness by piercing vegetables with the knife, they should be soft. Transfer the vegetables to a plate and let cool completely.

    KITCHEN TIP: It is important to not overcook the carrots and potatoes. They should be cooked through but still firm.

  2.  Cover the beet with cold water; add 2 tablespoons of salt and bay leave and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and boil for 1 to ½ hours (depending on the size). Check for doneness by inserting the knife into the beet. It should be soft in the middle. Transfer the beet to a plate and let cool completely.

  3.  Peel all the vegetables with paper towels, then grate (using the finest side of the grate) each kind separately and placing in individual bowls. Using paper towels squeeze the excess liquid from the grated beets.

    KITCHEN TIP: Grate the beet last, otherwise it will stain all the vegetables and you want all the vegetables to preserve their colors. The finest grate will create a more delicate texture to the dish.

  4.  Start assembling by first layering chopped herring in each individual jar. Then add a layer of grated potatoes, spread evenly but not too tight. Add 1 teaspoon of mayonnaise and spread evenly as well. Sprinkle with chives. Add grated carrot and spread evenly again. Finish with the beet layer and another tablespoon of mayo. Sprinkle with grated boiled egg, top with ½ teaspoon of caviar and dill spring.

    KITCHEN TIP: This salad can be pre-assembled 1 day in advance, keep refrigerated, covered with the cling film. Bring to room temperature before serving.

share your thoughts

6 thoughts on “Dressed Herring Salad”

  1. This is one of my favorite salads!!You did a great job that night! It was perfectly dressed with mayo and had a light taste. I actually like the idea to top it with red caviar (I’ve never seen my mom and my grandmom making it this way).

    I think sometimes we added a layer of crushed apples… am I wrong?

    1. This is just my fancy spin on classics, the iconic, the one and only Dressed Herring Salad!:))) The flavors are still the same, like our parents did! I use grated apples sometimes mixed with the carrot layer, just for a touch of sweetness but that, of course, is optional. And grainy caviar just adds a pop of color and some savory bite! Use the smallest grate for the vegetables next time you are trying to make it, it creates a very lush, almost velvety texture to it! Merci for the compliment!

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