Recipe: Ukrainian Vinegret – cooked beetroot vegetable salad
For this recipe we travel back in time to the Soviet era and my homeland Ukraine where it originated. It might have been Russia but nobody really knows where it really came from – as when the republics united the cuisine lines blurred over time. What I know is that when winter came and fresh vegetables became scarce, this root vegetable salad often made an appearance on our table, especially on special occasions accompanied with herring, rye bread and ice-cold vodka. I think it was so popular because the colours and flavours reminded everyone of summer and because it used cheap, accessible ingredients.
I wouldn’t call my recipe ‘an adaptation’ or ‘slightly modified’ because it’s as close to the real thing as I remember in my mind. I don’t know who invented it so I am going to credit my grandmother because she made the best Vinegret salad of all. Enjoy it in winter and in summer because it’s delicious and easy to make!
Notes: If you’re avoiding nightshades, swap white potatoes with sweet potatoes, parsnips or some cooked cauliflower. Peeled, white potato is fine every now and then, unlike what the paleo police might tell you.
- 2 large raw beetroots
- 2 large white potatoes
- 1 large carrot
- 3 large dill pickled gherkins
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
- 1/2 medium Spanish onion, finely diced
- 1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- Bring a large saucepan of water to boil and cook potatoes, beetroot and carrot in skin for 35 minutes, remove carrots at a 20 minute mark as it takes less time to cook. Rinse all under cold water and leave to cool for at least an hour (this can be done ahead of time).
- Dice gherkins and onion, chop the dill. Combine salad dressing ingredients and put aside.
- Bring a small saucepan of water to boil and cook peas for 30 seconds. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.
- Once cooled down, peel and dice potatoes, beetroot and carrot into small cubes. Combine with the rest of ingredients and the dressing in a large salad bowl. Serve on its own or as side dish with.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes + cooling time
Number of servings: 4