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Polish Vegetable Salad

March 29, 2013

Polish Vegetable Salad

This salad might very well be my favourite food on the planet. Strong statement, I know. And there’s not even any meat in it. Or chocolate for that matter! How could my fave food be vegetarian? And not a dessert? *shrug* It kind of just is. For me, it’s the ultimate comfort food – I grew up eating this salad, which is typically only made during holidays (it’s a staple for Easter brunch) or other festive occasions. That’s probably due to the fact that it’s a little labour intensive to prepare (there’s a lot of chopping involved). But I have fond memories of everyone sitting around the kitchen table, chatting away while we chopped. To make it worth our while, we would typically make a large batch (at least double this recipe). I’ve happily eaten bowlfuls of this salad, countless days in a row. I just can’t seem to get enough of it.

This vegetable salad is very much a traditional Polish dish (“salatka jarzynowa”), and variations of it can sometimes be spotted at Polish delis. This particular recipe is the paleo-fied version of my family’s recipe. It’s traditionally made with regular potatoes – but luckily, it works just as well (if not better) with sweet potatoes. And, of course, I’ve subbed in home made olive oil mayonnaise for the store bought canola kind. If you’re squeamish about the paleo-ness of peas, save yourself some angst and just leave them out.

This salad is great by itself, or with any sort of meat or charcuterie – it also makes a great BBQ side. Although this creamy salad is similar to potato salad, the emphasis is more on the other ingredients, not just the potatoes. It’s a wonderful medley of vegetable flavours and textures. The apples and pickles add some crunch and acidity. I personally prefer to go a little heavy on the mustard, but season it to suit your tastes. It’s a colorful addition to any meal, and I now make it year round.

Happy Easter, everyone! :)

Polish Vegetable Salad 2

Ingredients:

  • 5 eggs, hardboiled and peeled
  • 1/2 jar of pickles (approx. 10 pickles)
  • 3 apples, peeled
  • 1 can of peas, drained (optional)
  • 4 medium carrots
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 1 parsley root or parsnip
  • 1 small celery root

To season:

  • approx. 1 cup mayonnaise (preferably homemade from olive oil)
  • yellow mustard
  • onion, minced
  • salt
  • pepper

Preparation:

1) Don’t peel the carrots, parsley/parsnip and celery root as the peel helps keep the veggies whole and also helps retain flavours. Put the unpeeled carrots, parsley/parsnip, and celery root  root in a medium pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Cook until tender when pierced with a fork, but not mushy/falling apart (approx. 45 minutes.). Keep checking on the vegetables – the carrots will likely be done first, then the parsley root/parsnip, and the celery root will take the longest. Remove the vegetables from simmering water accordingly. Set aside to cool. Once cooled, gently peel the vegetables. You’ll need t use a small knife, not a peeler so you don’t squish the veggies. Dice the vegetables into small, uniformly sized cubes.

2) Dice the sweet potatoes into cubes, similar in size to those of the other vegetables. Place diced sweet potato in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, cook until the sweet potato is tender (can be easily pierced with a fork), but not falling apart (approx. 5 minutes). Immediately drain the hot water and cover with cold water to stop the sweet potatoes from overcooking. Once cooled, drain well, and set aside.

3) Chop the apples, pickles, and eggs into cubes that are of similar size to the vegetables. Set aside.

4) In a large pot, combine all of the ingredients, adding a little of each at a time, so that the ingredients are evenly distributed. Gently stir the salad with a wooden spoon, just to make sure it’s uniform throughout.

5) Refrigerate salad for a minimum of 1 hour. It is best served cold.

6) Scoop however many servings you’d like into a large bowl. Stir in enough mayonnaise and mustard for the salad to be creamy in a ratio of approximately 4:1 of mayonnaise to mustard. Add a little bit of minced onion (about 1 teaspoon per serving) and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Shared with Real Food Wednesdays and Fight Back Fridays.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie March 29, 2013 at 1:24 PM

Sounds wonderful. I am of Polish ancestry and my father would have heartily approved of this! I may throw in a few fingerling potatoes. Thanks!

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admin@primalist March 30, 2013 at 8:10 AM

That’s awesome, I’m glad to hear it :)

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Kate @ Eat, Recycle, Repeat April 3, 2013 at 6:24 PM

This is all my favorite foods mashed together in one bowl. Amazing & mouthwatering! I think I’d do onions instead of peas, though. I wonder if I could sneak liver in somehow?

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admin@primalist April 3, 2013 at 6:58 PM

Thanks! If you do onions, I’d recommend either red onions or shallots so it’s not too harsh. LOL about sneaking in the liver. :) I do think it would make a great side to liver with onions.

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