Ukrainian Beet & Potato Salad
This month’s recipe pays homage to my grandfather’s homeland of Odessa, Ukraine.
Many Ukrainian recipes descend from ancient peasant dishes, incorporating Slavic and European styles and techniques. It's a very ingredient-based cuisine, with recipes featuring items homegrown in rich, dark and fertile soil.
One of these ingredients is beetroot, and beets reign supreme in Ukraine, with borscht (beet soup), considered the national dish. Another favorite dish featuring beets is Salat Vinegret (Ukrainian Beet Salad), also known as village salad; every family has their own version of this classic. Beets, potatoes, and pickled cucumbers make this dish a fall/winter staple, often served on special occasions, although it is now enjoyed year-round.
Filling, nutritious, and a good source of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber, fingerling potatoes and organic carrots are cooked until fork tender and then are combined with Melissa’s earthy and sweet Peeled & Steamed Red Beets, zesty pickles, savory shallots, and fresh dill weed, resulting in the perfect array of ingredients for dressing with a vibrant vinaigrette (vinegret).
Instead of the traditional green peas, I’ve added bright green edamame for extra protein and crunch. While this is my version of the basic recipe, I like mixing things up even further by adding one or more of the following to the dish: diced avocados, toasted walnuts, hummus or plant-based crumbled blue or feta cheese. (And maybe throw in a couple handfuls of massaged kale for even more texture and nutrition.)
You can serve the dish composed like a Buddha bowl, layered or tossed. However you slice and dice it, Ukrainian Beet Salad will be a delicious addition to your side or main dish salad repertoire.
Salat Vinegret (Ukrainian Beet & Potato Salad)
1 package Melissa’s Organic Peeled & Steamed Red Beets, diced
1 package Melissa’s Fingerling Potatoes, cooked and diced
1 medium-sized organic carrot, cooked and diced
1 cup Melissa’s Shelled Edamame
¾ cup shallots, minced
1 cup bread & butter or dill pickles, diced
½ cup fresh dill, chopped
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pickle brine or seasoned rice vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste
Boil or steam potatoes and carrot for about 20 minutes until fork tender. Remove from heat and let cool. Dice the potatoes and carrot and add to a mixing bowl.
Add the diced beets, pickles, edamame, shallots, and fresh dill, and toss to combine.
Drizzle with the oil and brine or vinegar, toss to cover the veggies and then season to taste with salt and pepper. Add more dressing if desired.