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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 (i prefer white or large new potatoes, which have a less grainy texture)
- 2 tart apples, peeled and diced
- 2 carrots, peeled,cooked,and diced
- 2 tablespoons dried onion flakes
- 2 medium dill pickles, diced or grated
- ¾ cup diced pickled herring (optional) or salted herring (optional) or minced sardines (optional) or anchovies (optional)
- 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
- 1 dash sugar
- crumbled bacon (optional)