Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Rosolje - Estonian Herring, Beet & Potato Salad

Rosolje is an interesting thing to eat. I find that you either really like it, or you don't. I think it may have something to do with the fact that there is pickled herring in the salad. Pickled herring is a funny ingredient. I like to think of this particular ingredient much like I think of anchovies in a caesar salad. I suppose that if you are a herring-phobe (like my DH), you can always leave it out...but then again, it wouldn't really be Rosolje. I have heard people say that you can't taste the herring and that you can't tell that it's there (but my overly sensitive palate can, so I'm not going to say the same).

I first made this years ago alongside my best friends' Estonian grandmother. She only made this for special occasions because it was very labor intensive (took her two days) chopping all those ingredients into the perfect dice by herself. Now that she has moved onto a better place, we had a party and made this in her honor/memory. Since there were quite a few of us, we placed all the ingredients we needed to dice upon slips of paper and drew ingredients to make it a little less of a tedious task. I think Grandma would have been so proud and happy to see us all together passing on her recipe.

The flavor develops nicely with a day or two in the fridge...but if you are like my DH, and are trying it for the first time, then having it right after it's made might be a safer bet.

Rosolje (Estonian Herring, Beet & Potato Salad)
Makes a lot

1 small jar pickled herring in wine
7 potatoes - cooked and peeled
7 eggs, hard boiled
2 cans beets
1 lb cooked roast beef, cooled
1 small jar kosher pickles

2 cups mayonnaise
Salt and Pepper - to taste
Keens Mustard - to taste

1. Cut the herring, potatoes, eggs, beets, roast beef and pickles into a small dice (about 1/4").
2. Place all diced ingredients into large bowl.
3. Mix mayonnaise, mustard (to taste) and salt and pepper throughly in a small bowl.
4. Add dressing to diced ingredients and mix. Salad will be a nice pink color.
5. Refrigerate for several hours before serving.

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