Thursday, 26 July 2007

Curried Russian Salad

Russian Salad - or as I tend to think of it, Ensalada Rusa (it's at least as well known in Spanish-speaking countries as it is Russia) - is a very versatile recipe. It almost always has potatoes, cut in cubes, but from there it can contain just about any mixture of cooked cubed vegetables, perhaps with cubes of meat (ham, chicken, tongue, etc) and/or cheese. The dressing is cream or mayonnaise based, or perhaps some combination of the two. It's often served nicely mounded into a shape and garnished quite elaborately. Somehow, though, this is pretty much what I always end up putting in, and I don't worry about its sloppy natural shape. This is a natural repository for left-overs, so check your fridge for new and fabulous combinations.

6 servings
45 minutes - 25 minutes prep time

Curried Russian Salad, or Ensalada RusaSalad:
6 or 8 small red potatoes
2 or 3 cups cauliflower florets
1 medium carrot
125 grams (1/4 pound) green beans
125 grams (1/4 pound) yellow wax beans

Cut the vegetables in cubes, or in the case of the cauliflower, break it into small florets. Cook the vegetables until tender. If you are good at timing, you can cook them all in one pot; if you are not so good you had better do it seperately. As already noted, some componants can be leftovers from another meal.

Drain the cooked vegetables and run under cold water to cool. Drain well again.

Dressing:
2 or 3 green onions
2 tablespoons minced parsley (optional)
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill (optional)
1 cup light cream
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 to 1 teaspoon mild Madras curry powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns
1 teaspoon sea salt

Mince the onions, and the parsley and dill, if using, and mix the herbs with the cream and sour cream. Dissolve the curry in the vinegar, and add the salt and pepper. Exact quantities will depend on your taste and how mild the curry is. In my opinion the curry should be fairly subtle - it's a salad first and foremost. Mix the vinegar into the cream mixture.

Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well. Serve chilled, on lettuce leaves if you like.

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