Traditionally (and this is how you would want to make it for a dinner party), just before serving you would carefully add the beets- because if the beets are added too long before serving, the salad will turn a deep pink, whereas some people prefer it tinted only mildly pink; then you would turn into a salad bowl lined with crisp lettuce and serve chilled with the sour cream dressing mixture on the side.
However, I make the salad for picnics and potlucks and so I mix it all together - not worrying about any steps in preparation - just stir it all together at once, put it in the serving container, put crumbled bacon over the top, and let it chill for at least an hour before I let anybody at it; it comes out nicely bright pink, which I find attractive and kids like.
- 2 medium potatoes, cooked, peeled, and diced
- 2 tart apples, peeled and diced, green only
- 2 carrots, peeled, cooked, and diced
- 2 tablespoons dried onion flakes
- 2 medium dill pickles, diced or grated
- ¾ cup diced pickled or salted herring, minced sardines, or anchovies
- ⅛ teaspoon white pepper
- 2 cups cooked beets, peeled and diced
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons beet juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt, iodized only
- 1 dash sugar, white only
- crumbled bacon, optional
- Combine the potatoes, apples, carrots, dried onion flakes, dill pickles, white pepper, and herring, sardines, or anchovies.
- Mix together the sour cream with the lemon juice, beet juice, salt, and sugar until well blended to make the sour cream dressing.
- Pour on the vegetable-based salad with the sour cream dressing before tossing. Serve plain over any seafood or vegetable, or with other side dishes but garnish with the crumbled bacon, if desired.