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Beetroot salad Also called "mixed herring salad", this salad is suitable to be served with ham, turkey or other meat dishes and the traditional Finnish Christmas casseroles.

2 medium-sized potatoes
2 medium-sized carrots
2 - 3 medium-sized fresh or pickled beetroots
2 small Russian-type pickled gherkins or sugar and vinegar pickled gherkins
1 sweetish apple (
eg "Pink Lady")
1 very small onion
(½ salted herring or a couple of Swedish anchovy fillets)
pinch of sugar
pinch of white pepper
(pinch of salt)
or try the following amounts:
about 200 g diced boiled or pickled beetroots
about 90 g cooked and peeled diced potatoes
about 100 g diced cooked carrots
about 70 g peeled, diced and drained Russian-type pickled gherkins or sugar and vinegar pickled gherkins
about 70 g sweetish diced apple (
eg "Pink Lady")
about 20 g finely chopped onion (yellow, red or shallot)
¼ - ½ salted herring or a couple of Swedish anchovy fillets
pinch of sugar
pinch of white pepper
(pinch of salt)
smetana, crème fraîche or whipped cream
pinch of salt
pinch of sugar
pinch of white pepper
dash of beetroot pickling or boiling liquid

Beetroot salad ingredients Instructions for preparing of the raw/pickled vegetables:
Under running water, gently brush the fresh beetroots and potatoes clean, if necessary. Do not top and tail the beetroots, but leave them intact (only cut off the leaves and stems, if they are still attached, as may be the case in summertime when using freshly harvested beets).

In picture on right: beetroot salad ingredients  —  carrot, potato, onion, apple, pickled gherkin and pickled beetroot.

Scrape or peel and top and tail the carrots. Cut them crosswise in three to four smaller pieces.

Cook the unpeeled beetroots and (peeled or unpeeled) potatoes slowly in simmering water until tender. Boil the carrot pieces in briskly boiling water until tender (to enhance their flavour, you can add a large pinch of sugar in the carrots' cooking water).

The cooked vegetables should feel thoroughly tender, yet firm and not mushy. Drain the vegetables and leave at room temperature until cool enough to handle.

Use thin plastic gloves and protect the work surface and cutting board from the highly (and permanently) staining beetroot juices. Peel, top and tail the beets and cut in small dice along with (peeled) potatoes and carrots. If you are using pickled beetroots, drain them and pat them dry before dicing.

Drain and pat dry the pickled gherkins, peel them and cut in small dice. Place the diced gherkins in a colander to drain off their excess liquid. Peel and core the apple and cut in small cubes. Peel and finely chop the onion. Finely chop or mince the herring or anchovies. The herring or anchovies may be omitted from the recipe.

Mixed beetroot salad Carefully mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Season the salad with white pepper and sugar (and salt, if necessary). Cover the bowl and place in refrigerator for the "flavours to marry". The beetroot will dye the salad ingredients bright purplish red (see the picture on right).

For the dressing, stir the smetana or crème fraîche until smooth. If you are using cream, whip it until soft peaks form (the smetana and crème fraîche may also be whipped to give them a sturdier consistency).

Season the smetana, crème fraîche or whipped cream and colour it slightly pink by stirring in a dash of the bright red beetroot pickling or boiling liquid. Serve the dressing from a separate bowl.

Store the salad and any leftover dressing tightly covered in cold refrigerator, where they will keep for several days.

Recipe source: family recipe from Mrs. Kirsti L.


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