Friday, 1 April 2011

Swedish beetroot salad

I adore beetroot (beets, to you American types), and I owe it to my husband that I eat them at all. I went through much of my life declaring that I didn't eat beetroot, until one day he said "I'm surprised that you don't at least eat pickled beetroot, since you love every other kind of pickle so much." He had witnessed me work my way through an entire bottle of gherkins on more than one occasion. I tasted a jar of beetroot salad and utterly reversed my stance on the vegetable.

Our younger son was completely addicted to pickled beetroot (or 'dootloot', as he called them) as a baby, and would wolf them down like there was no tomorrow. This resulted in large pink stains on the towelling nappies (diapers) that I insisted on using (being too green to go the disposable nappy route). Too much information? Sorry. Some people have no class!

It would be logical to assume that I learnt how to make this salad from my (Swedish) mother in law, but I have a vague feeling that this was not the case. In fact, I think I remember encountering it at the Swedish stall of a world food fair thing.

Be that as it may, this is how you make it. As usual, I leave it to you to tweak the balance of the ingredients to your taste.

1 boiled beetroot per person, cubed - you can use pickled ones if you like, but I prefer them plain for this salad
Hard cheese, cubed - sharp Cheddar or feta will do
A little onion or chives (about a teaspoonful per person), finely chopped
Gherkins, chopped
Mayonnaise - I prefer the milder/non-tangy kind like Hellmans/Kraft

Mix together and serve, topped with a mashed hard-boiled egg.

As an alternative, you can use equal quantities of potato and beetroot. This is especially good if you are using pickled beetroot.

Oh... and dill is a Swedish staple, so, if you fancy adding a bit of that, it will never go amiss.

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