For this week’s recipe I thought I would share what I found to be a weird Russian dish that I came to love. This dish is Винегрет (Vinegret), a salad commonly prepared for celebrations, but eaten all year round as well.
Vinegret is served as a zakusky, an appetizer, to be eaten before the main course. If you find it at a restaurant it is typically served like a side salad. The dish is brightly colored and extremely appetizing, due to it’s main ingredient, beets! Other common ingredients include potatoes, peas, carrots, sauerkraut, pickles, and onions. Sometimes ingredients such as mushrooms, meat, or fish are added to the mixture.
The salad was named after the dressing that it used to be topped with, vinaigrette. Any boiled vegetables that were topped with the dressing could be called by this name. Later on the term “vinegret” came to be associated with any salad made with beets. Today, the name refers to this particular salad, considered to be a “staple” in Russian cuisine.
The recipe below is from Natasha’s Kitchen.
3 medium beets (or 2 cans of beets, drained)
3 medium potatoes
3 medium carrots
1/2 cup sauerkraut, drained
3 medium pickles
2 Tbsp Sunflower or Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Vinegar
1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
Boil the peeled beets for one hour, until they are easy to pierce with a fork. Alternatively, use canned beets.
Separately boil potatoes and carrots for roughly 30 minutes. Do not overcook.
Drain vegetables and let cool to room temperature.
Peel the vegetables, then finely dice them all.
Mix the beets with 1 tbsp. sunflower oil.
Mix all of the vegetables together. Add the remaining sunflower oil and vinegar.
Eat and enjoy.
Article by Allison Heitmiller
Photo Credit: Creative Commons