Rosolje is a popular Estonian party food - a delicious beet and potato salad, explosively crimson in color. It's a perfect side dish for your next party, picnic or barbecue.
Hot pink potato salad on your party buffet table will not escape anyone's notice. Rosolje is the name for this popular Estonian beetroot and potato salad. Bite-sized cubes of beets and potatoes, finely chopped onions and pickles, are tossed with a creamy, zesty, mustardy dressing. There's lots to love about this fun fuchsia salad and also about its country of origin.
Estonia's Authentic Beet and Potato Salad
If you're from Estonia, you might be wondering "where's the herring?" Some Estonian people say "if it doesn't have herring, it's not rosolje." Others are more open-minded. I've seen similar debates over anchovies in Caesar salad. Every cook has his or her own personal tastes. I strive to honor time-held traditions by at least acknowledging them, but it's not always my goal to replicate them. My recipes are my personal take, my favorite rendition of globally-inspired dishes.
I omitted herring and opted for vegetarian rosolje. I also lightened up the traditional dressing by using a lot less mayonnaise than the norm, and by replacing sour cream with yogurt. The salad contains finely chopped pickles, onions and tart apples. The dressing is punctuated by horseradish and hot English mustard. All of these bold zesty flavors are a delicious counterpart to the sweet beets and mellow potatoes. It's a wacky sounding conglomeration of ingredients, but it works. There are surprises and delights in every bite!
If you want to try a more authentic version, that can be easily achieved by adding 1 cup of chopped pickled herring to the mix.
I knew little about Estonia before Hippocrene Books sent me this cookbook to review: Estonian Tastes and Traditions. My copy of that book is now exploding with sticky notes, marking all the recipes I'm excited to try: cheese danish, braised pork chops with apricots and prunes, chicken Kiev, sour kraut soup, meatball soup, sweet and sour cabbage, and black bread (to name a few). Maybe it's the Russian blood in me that makes me so attracted to these rich comforting East European dishes.
Estonia is a small coastal country in northeastern Europe, with only 1,300,000 inhabitants. It's remarkable for being simultaneously one of the least densely populated countries in Europe and one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world. Skype was invented there! Estonia has extensive nature preserves, 5 national parks, untouched beaches. You can get wifi reception at all of them.
MORE DELICIOUS POTATO RECIPES FROM AROUND THE WORLD:
- French Potato Salad (No Mayo)
- Spanish Inspired Funeral Potatoes with Chorizo and Smoked Paprika
- Saag Aloo: Indian Spinach and Potatoes
Here's the recipe for Rosolje: Estonian Potato and Beet Salad. If you make it, I hope you'll come back and leave a comment to let me know what you think.
I originally developed this recipe for the Idaho Potato Commission. For more great potato recipes visit the the official site of the Idaho® PotatoPrint