RUSSIAN FOOD NETWORK

Recipe:  Pink Potato Salad

2 pounds potatoes

1 large beet

3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

1 large cucumber, diced

5 kosher dill pickles per 2 potatoes

3 scallions, including the green tops, chopped

1 red apple

2 carrots

½ teaspoon dried dill

1 teaspoon salt

Light mayo, enough to cover everything in the salad

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

  In separate pots, boil the potatoes and the carrots, then the beet until just tender.  Drain and remove the skins.  Chop the potatoes into coarse chunks; dice the beet.  Put into large bowl.

  Add the eggs and the cucumber, pickle, scallions and apple. Mix well.  Mix in the light mayo, salt, dill and pepper.  Make sure each piece of the salad is coated with the mayo.  Chill, covered, overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

  Yield: 8 to 10 servings.

After doing some research on the recipe, I discovered that in different regions of Russia, people make this Pink Potato Salad a little bit differently.  I could not find a city or area of origination, though it may have spread from Russia to France.  It also seems that many different cultures have their own take on potato salad that is made pink with beets, each being a bit different and claiming they were the original makers of Pink Potato Salad.

Preparing the Pink Potato Salad was not too difficult, but it did take longer than I had thought it would.  It ended up taking me quite a while to chop everything that needed to be chopped, though I most likely would have been fine if I had started chopping when I began to heat the water to a boil for the potatoes, carrots and the beet. 

I did not make any specific changes to the recipe, though I do believe I put in too many beets, because I was not sure how big a large beet was, and pickles.  Next time I shall put in less of both of these and will most likely add another apple.  I did use a Fuji apple, instead of a regular red apple, because I find them sweeter. 

Though I did not add anything to the Pink Potato Salad, my roommate found that she liked it better with honey mustard in it.  I did not try this addition to the potato salad, but understand why she may have liked this better.  It is kind of the idea of the mustard with potato salad, like most of the potato salads we make in the U.S.

This potato salad kind of reminds me of the German potato salad my family sometimes makes, not necessarily because the two taste the same or have the same ingredients, but because they both do not really taste like normal, American I guess you could say, potato salad.  They both have a different taste from the mustard like taste I am rather used to.  The Pink Potato Salad also had a very earthy taste to me, which I am also not very used to.

I would definitely not serve this potato salad by itself; it was a little much for me.  I think I would serve it with another kind of vegetable, maybe corn or green beans and then a main course of some kind of meat.

While one is eating Pink Potato Salad, I think one should listen to “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” by Tchaikovsky because the high and low pitches of the music along with the staccato notes quite reminds me of how, while eating the potato salad, I would taste the different parts of it in little bits.  As I was eating the potato salad, yes it was one entity, but at the same time, I could taste, separately, the apple, cucumber, pickle, beet and scallions.  This song by Tchaikovsky reminds me of the potato salad because it is the same way, it is one entity, but at the same time, it is many different notes and sounds, instead of tastes and textures.