Russian Potato Salad

We really enjoy this warm-weather dish. Besides its wonderful taste, it is just beautiful with its variety of color. Most recently, we served it with a soft lettuce salad with a Balsamic vinaigrette along with some crusty bread. It really was a very satisfying meal. When this salad is freshly made, especially without the addition of mayonnaise, the colors of the different vegetables remain distinct. With the addition of mayonnaise, or as a left-over dish, the beets lend a definite shade of pinkish-purple to the whole salad.


2   Potatoes, WhiteCubed one half inch
2   CarrotsLarge sized, cubed one half inch
1   ParsnipsOptional, cubed one half inch
2 cups RutabagaOr purple topped turnip, cubed one half inch
2   BeetsMedium size
3   Egg (s), hard boiled
4   ScallionsOuter layer of skiin removed, hairy bottom cut off, and sliced thinly
½ cup Pickles, DillCut into one quarter inch dice
½ tsp Salt
½ tsp White Pepper
1 tsp DillOptional, and to taste if used
¼ cup Mayonnaise
¾ cup CeleryDiced one quarter inch


1 If using fresh beets, these may be prepared ahead. Cut off the leaves. Wash the beets well to remove all grit. Place them in a pan so that you can fill it with water just to cover the beets. Leave the pot uncovered and let the beets cook at a simmer until the water is just about evaporated. This usually takes about an hour, depending on the size of the beets. Let the beets cool to room temperature. If you prefer not to have your fingers tinted a rosy-purple, either use rubber gloves to peel off the beet skin; or pierce each beet with a big fork, and, holding it with one hand, use the other hand to peel the skin. Then cut the beets into a half inch dice and set aside.
2 Though I cook each of the other root vegetables separately, they could all be cooked together. I prefer to place each different variety in a roomy saucepan. Fill with water, just barely to the top of the diced vegetables. Cook this over high heat, just until the water evaporates, which is not even ten minutes. Set aside each vegetable as it is cooked in one large mixing bowl. Alternatively, cook the potatoes, carrots, parsnip (if using), and rutabaga together using the same method. Let these cool to room temperature.
3 Add to the bowl the dill pickles and mix into the vegetables. Then add the hard boiled eggs, chopped in fairly small pieces. Add the sliced scallions, celery, salt and pepper to taste, and dill, if using.
4 In our most recent version of this salad, we opted not to dress it with mayonnaise and thought it was just wonderful.In this case, you may like to add just a bit of vinegar as you're giving the salad the final toss. However, it's also excellent with some mayonnaise added, to your taste. I recommended one quarter cup.
5 Do serve this at room temperature, even a little tepid is good.