This is something my mom makes. And grandma. And many other moms and grandmas in Russia. It reminds me of home. This is a Russian root vegetable salad, traditionally made in fall and winter — it has potatoes, beets and carrots. It's served as a side dish and on its own. These veggies will keep you full and happy during the cooler months. They're really good for you, too! And with all its colors, this salad can brighten any table, weekday or holiday.
- 1½ lbs Yukon Gold potatoes
- 1½ lbs beets
- 1½ lbs carrots
- 2½–3 cups frozen peas, defrosted (Feel free to substitute with 2 15-oz cans of red beans, rinsed and drained.)
- 5–7 small pickles, chopped
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 1 bunch dill, chopped
- ¼ cup olive oil, plus approximately 2 tbsp for coating the vegetables prior to baking
- Salt and crushed black pepper, to taste
- Wash and scrub the potatoes, beets and carrots, but do not peel. Pierce the skin of each vegetable with a fork in a few places, so that the steam can escape during baking.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Lightly coat each vegetable with oil. Wrap a few at a time into sheets of baking foil. Do not wrap too tightly, leave some air inside the foil. Arrange the wrapped vegetables on a cooking sheet.
- Bake 1½–2 hours. Beets and potatoes may need a little longer than carrots, (about 2½ hours total). Timing may need to be adjusted, depending on your oven and whether the vegetables came straight out of the fridge or were at room temperature. The key is, when done, the vegetables should be soft; you should be able to pierce them with a fork all the way through almost without pressure. Be careful to not overcook, though, so that they aren’t mushy.
- Cool the vegetables, then peel gently using your fingers or a sharp knife (a peeler may not work well on cooked vegetables). Tip: rinse the vegetables under cold water once they’ve cooled slightly — they will be easier to peel. Dry off with paper towels.
- Cut the potatoes, beets and carrots into cubes, approximately ½-inch size.
- Mix together the potatoes, beets, carrots, peas, pickles, onion and dill in a large bowl.
- Dress with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
- Refrigerate for about an hour or longer to allow flavors to blend.