12/22/2012

Polish Christmas Salad

This is a typical Polish salad served on Christmas Eve, when we eat only food without meat. We eat a ton of fish, specialty is carp and herrings, in various ways, or the less popular but still very good eel and catfish.
I'm thinking about doing this year just salmon for Christmas Eve- with puree and vegetables, and for dinner, informal sushi or salmon teriyaki.
Or I'll make shrimps with green beans.



















I have been making this specific salad for over 15 years, always having each year a lot of fun dicing the damn vegetables (I learnt how to chop with this salad- one year it was too fine, the other- the dice was too big and the salad wasn't that good). So dice small enough (the size of a pea or a bit larger is ok).
The key is to use regular mayonaise. No light mayonaise or a mix of mayo and cream will do the job. Accept the awful truth and just spoon in those 2 heaped table spoons of good mayonaise. I swear it'll be enough.  And you HAVE to add the apple, otherwise it dosen't make any sense at all.
Since you have to cook the vegetables anyway, it's good to slow cook them with a few more ingredients and make vegetable broth, which, by the way, I intend to serve also on Christmas Eve with some noodles and a few carrot slices. If you don't want to have soup, just freeze it in a ice tray or muffin tray- this way you have good quality broth to use in other recipes.


Type of dish : salad
Serves: 4-8
Cost: cheap
Difficulty: easy
Time: 1h
Prep time: 20min
Cooking time:

You'll need:
Cutting board, sharp knife, large bowl, medium saucepan with lid, tablespoon, slotted spoon, tongs

Ingredients:
  •  3-4 medium carrots
  • 1 celery bulb
  • 2 parsley root
  • 1-2 leek parts
  • 2 heaped tbsp  mayonaise
  • 2 apples ( green granny, or any sour type)
  • 6-7 medium sized brined gherkins
  • 1/2 can of peas
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 tbsp Vegeta seasoning
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 onion
  • small piece italian cabbage
  • small garnish fresh thyme

Dice all the vegetables except for the onion  (which you don't peel, just wash- it'll give a lovely color to the broth), caggabe and leek. Put all the veggies, apart from the gherkins and apples in the saucepan, add the bay leaf and Vegeta, and cover with cold water and add additional 1/2 litre of water (this will evaporate during cooking anyway), and put on medium heat, wait till it boils, then turn down the heat to low for 20 min. In the meantime, add to the large bowl add the peas, diced apples and gherkins and the mayonaise. When the time is up, use the tongs to remove the leek, onion and caggage from the saucepan, and take out the bay leaf and thyme. Use the slotted spoon or a sieve to drain the vegetables from the broth (save it for other purposes), and add to the large bowl. Mix well, taste, add the salt if needed, then cover and put in a cool place (a fridge) and leave overnight for best results.
The taste is great, and kids really like this salad for some reason. I think it's because it's the only alternative to fish on that day. But still, a good way to feed them veggies :)

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