April 20, 2018
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Russian recipe all about good proportions

By Sandy Oliver

Beet, Potato and Apple Salad
When she was 17-years-old, 50-plus years ago, my friend up the road, Diane Ferris watched as a member of the Russian artistocracy, post-revolution, assembled this salad according to the way she observed the cook in her mother’s house had done. At first glance the combination seems improbable, but it works, and, made out of winter keeping vegetables and apples, it is a good recipe for the dead of the cold season.

The secret is to dice the ingredients so they are the same small size and each forkful will have a nice combination of flavors. The original recipe called for sour cream in the dressing, but Diane prefers to use that very thick Greek-style yogurt you can get these days. To make the flavor richer, she adds a little mayonnaise. You may do what you wish, but of course, the yogurt is lower in calories than sour cream.

In trying the recipe, I found that a waxy potato is best, and a larger proportion of apple to beet is pleasant. Aim for about a cup of diced apple. I also find that more lemon juice or red wine vinegar is preferable to less because it creates a pleasant sweet-and-sour combination with the beets and apple. Taste as you go along, and add more vinegar or juice as needed.

Fresh dill and parsley are very nice, if you have them. Since the salad comes out a shocking pink, you might prefer to use the herbs as a garnish. Serve the salad on lettuce, small greens or spinach.

Beet, Potato and Apple Salad
Yields about six to eight servings
1 ½ cups of cooked beets
1 medium apple
1 small red potato boiled
1 hardboiled egg
1 spear of dill pickle
1 small red onion
Lemon juice
Olive or canola oil
½ cup thick yogurt
1-2 tablespoons mayonnaise

Finely dice the beets, apple, potato, egg, pickle and onion. Toss together in a large bowl. Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon and about two tablespoons of olive or canola oil. In a smaller separate bowl whisk together the yogurt and mayonnaise; then add it to the vegetables and mix until the vegetables are well-coated. Toss in the herbs well-chopped.

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