This wonderful Finnish Rosolli salad is a staple at Christmas time. It's one of my favourite ways to eat beetroot and is simplicity itself! It's made of cubes of beetroot, carrot, potato and apple with onion. The dressing is a simple sour cream one but I put a teeny little spin on it. If you love beetroot, this is a pushy recipe Dear Reader!
The name Rosolli comes from the Russian word Rassol which means brine. I cannot overstate how much I love Rosoll salad. Perhaps it's because it's usually served at Christmas time lunches with Mr NQN's family at his aunt and uncle's house but every time I bite into it and get that melding of flavours and the creamy dressing I feel like I'm eating something healthy but delicious. My little touch for Rosolli is in the dressing - I use some of the pickle water instead of vinegar and beet cooking juice. I love pickle water as it has so much more depth of flavour than vinegar and I promise it adds so much to it.
Tips for making Rossoli salad:
1 - Cut the vegetables into small cubes.
2 - Cook the vegetables separately as they take different times to cook. Make sure that they're tender but not mushy.
3 - I use full fat sour cream as this mixes well with the sweet and salty pickle juice to form a pourable dressing. Some people use cream or mayonnaise to dress their rosolli (cream is traditional I believe). You can definitely use these and these can be combined with the pickle juice although the cream and pickle juice will making a very thin dressing.
4 - If you like horseradish, you can add a touch of this too.
5 - You can make this rosolli salad a day ahead to allow the flavours to meld.
What to serve Rosolli salad with: this salad goes with everything! It can be served with rye bread and as I mentioned it's part of the Finnish Christmas table next to ham or turkey.
Is Rosolli a starter or a side dish? It's both! But if you're serving it as a starter the best thing to add to rosolli is cold smoked herring, smoked fish or boiled eggs.
One of the reasons why I love this rosolli salad is because it is so easy and can be done ahead of time and all it needs is boiling of vegetables and the simplest dressing. Because sometimes in life I just need a breather. Do you ever say to yourself "I cannot deal with that now?". This is me entirely, especially in the last couple of years. It refers to so many things like the bag of plates and napery I used for a photo shoot that sat outside the office door for 1 week as a reminder, goading me. It refers to waiting 2 months for my first vaccine appointment and the COVID situation in Victoria escalating. It also refers to this mouse plague that I'm just reading about which just sounds terrifying and horrible. "Are they here yet? Tell me when it is," I told a friend because I can't worry about these things just yet. My worry meter is at its maximum.
It also happened when I saw this bunch of beetroot from my vege box in my crisper with its enormous cluster of greens that shook so much dirt. "What are you doing with your beetroot?" I messaged Monica as we both get the vege box. "I don't have the emotional or physical bandwidth to deal with a bunch of beetroot," I explained. Then I remembered this salad. I remembered how much I loved it and it made me happy that I could use up so much of my vege box in one lunch and dinner friendly salad.
So tell me Dear Reader, are you a natural worrier? What level is your worry meter at? And have you ever tried rosolli?
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Finnish Rosolli Beetroot Salad
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by 4 readers
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4 as a side dish
- 4 beetroot (around 450g/1lb, peeled and cut into cubes
- 2 carrots (260g/9ozs), peeled and cut into cubes
- 2 potatoes (250g/8.8ozs), peeled and cut into cubes
- 1 red onion, finely diced
- 1 apple, cut into cubes
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped pickles (I used hot and spicy pickles)
- 100ml/3.5ozs. sour cream
- 3 tablespoons pickle juice
- Salt and pepper to season
Step 1 - Boil the beetroot, carrot and potatoes in separate pots and cook until tender but not mushy. Cool completely. You can do this step a day ahead of time. Gently mix with the onion and apple in a bowl.
Step 2 -Whisk the sour cream and pickle juice together and dress the vegetables in this. The cream will turn pink. Season with salt and pepper and serve.