Thursday, January 01, 2009

Seven-Layer Salad, Estonian style


Here's another 'Estonian-style' dish for you, dear readers. But let me first take you back to my first trip across the big pond..

When I was in the US last summer (in June 2008), I spent a few days with a lovely foodblogger Alanna in St Louis, MO. Alanna took very good care of me, and fed me well. One of the dishes she introduced me to, was a Classic Seven-Layer Salad. Last night, at the New Year's Eve party at our place, I served an Estonian equivalent of that salad - which, rather appriopriately for a Beet Princess, also contains a generous beetroot layer. A recipe is adapted from an Estonian cookbook (Pereköögi kokaraamat, 2007).

It's best to use a straight glass bowl for this salad, so you could see the pretty layers. Also, make the salad at least the night before to allow the flavours to meld and develop.

Estonian Seven-Layer Salad aka Layered Beetroot and Cheese Salad
(Kihiline peedi-juustusalat)
Serves 8 to 10 as part of a buffet table

400-500 g boiled beetroot, coarsely grated
250 g coarsely grated cheese
4 hard-boiled eggs, finely chopped*
4-5 pickled cucumbers, finely chopped
200 g frozen petit pois peas

250 g mayonnaise
250 g sour cream
1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper

chopped herbed
hard-boiled quail eggs

Mix the dressing ingredients together.
Place the frozen peas on a colander and pour over boiling water to 'cook' them (or you may want to actually blanch them for a minute, if you prefer). Drain thoroughly.
Layer the ingredients in a glass bowl in a following order: place peas on the bottom, top with grated egg. Spoon about a third of the dressing on top.
Then add the grated cheese, then beets and cubed pickles. Spoon the rest of the dressing on top, covering the whole salad thoroughly.
Cover with a cling film and place into a fridge until serving.
Before serving, garnish with peeled and halved quail eggs and some fresh herbs of your choice.

* Here's my tip for 'finely grating' hard-boiled eggs. I simply peel them, place in a deep plate and mash with a fork into fine crumbs :)

(The salad just after layering - you can already see the beetroot seeping through the layers).


Anonymous said...

Happy New Year Pille! I started blogging just this year and have very much enjoyed visiting the many food and other sorts of sites around the globe. Yours is one of my favorites.

ChichaJo said...

Happy New Year Pille! All the best for 2009! :)

Azita Mehran said...

Hello and happy New Year!
I never had a "Saven-Layer Salad" before, but it looks and sounds very tasty. I am going to try it. Thank you.

Mrs. M. said...

Add some herring and hold the cheese and you've got a classic Russian dish, "herring in a fur coat." I also like to add some chopped tart apples as one of the layers.

Anonymous said...

The quail eggs on top are just perfect, plus I love-love the idea of beets, too. Very pretty, Ms Pille! Happy New Year!

Shayne said...

It is so pretty I love the contrast of the the red, white and green.

marju said...

Üks mu lemmikuid, see salat (ilma hernesteta siiski). Teed potitäie valmis ja viis päeva mõnuled - aina paremaks läheb :)

Jeanne said...

A very happy New Year to you, dear Pille!

And I love the Estonian take on seven layer salad - great pastel colours :) There must be as many versions of seven-layer salad as there are kitchens...

Trig said...

Happy New Year, Pille.

Anonymous said...

Interesting recipe. I look forward to trying it out!

Anonymous said...

My husband has been asking for a new beet recipe, normally we eat them plain but this sounds much more exciting :).

Pille said...

Claudia - I'm so pleased to here that. There's such a number of fantastic blogs out there, so it's nice to hear that mine is noticed :)

ChichaJo - all the best to you, too!!

Azita - I had never thought of it as a seven-layer salad, just layered salad. But then I learnt about the seven-layer salad from Alanna in the US last summer :)

Yulinka - herring in a fur coat (or simply 'kasukas' or 'fur coat') is very popular in Estonia. I'm not so keen on herring, however, so this version suits me better..

Alanna - quail eggs are perfect, aren't they :)

Shayne - thank you! I think it's quite a looker of a salad, too!

Marju - no herned võib alati välja jätta. Meil sai 3 päevaga vist otsa. Päris 5 päeva ei jaksaks vist jutti süüa, aga no mine Sa tea..

Jeanne - hope to try your version one day, too!

Trig - and to you!

Anne - please do - and let me know what you thought of it!

Sophie - if not this salad, then there's plenty of beetroot recipes on this blog! said...

This does look very tastey. I've made the fur coat recipe whic is similar. This looks great. Thanks for posting.

Grace said...

This 7 layer salad looks and sounds delicious,

Found you on Kalyn 's blog and your mention of " blue " stuffed cabbage. Happy New year!

Pille said...

Natasha, I've made your layered shuba with smoked salmon on countless occasions by now :)

Grace - thank you and welcome to Nami-Nami! Hope you'll find something that you'll enjoy!