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Russians are very big on their холодные закуски “cold appetizers.” Amongst them meat and vegetable salads are very popular. These salads do not necessarily have lettuce in them. In fact most do not. Usually everything in these salads is pre-cooked; more often than not it is boiled. One of the most famous Russian salads is селёдка под шубой, which literally means “herring under a fur coat.”
No holiday table in Russia can go without селёдка под шубой, although I've noticed that my American friends are not too fond of it… to say the least! Personally, I am not a big fan of fish (except maybe for smoked salmon my parents make), but I really like this salad, perhaps because it reminds me of my carefree childhood without all the bill-paying and responsibility-taking.
The main ingredients are beets, potatoes, carrots, onions, mayo, herring and some parsley or scallions for decoration. We never add any salt to this salad but the herring makes up for it. After the beets, potatoes and carrots are boiled, they are cut into cubes. Mom pours boiling water over the onions and lets them soak for about a minute. This little trick lets the onions keep their taste but gets rid of the strong odor. After all the ingredients are fully prepared, we layer them, alternating vegetables, mayo, and herring. Then after decorating it with the greens, we leave the dish in the the fridge for a couple of hours. There you have it, the famous Russian селёдка под шубой!
«Приятного аппетита»! "Enjoy"!