Lox (cured salmon) is tucked in a variety of root vegetables and hard boiled eggs - this dish is rich in resistant starch and nourishment.
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Salmon in layered root vegetables is a twist on one of my favorite Russian salads, Herring Under Fur Coat or Shuba as we like to call it. The literal translation of shuba means fur coat and I like to think the salmon is wrapped in the fur coat.
Herring Under What?
Legend has it that during the time of Civil War and Revolution, a restaurant merchant who owned several pubs in Moscow became concerned that his patrons would get drunk discussing the Russian future with patriotic fervour. As a result, the guests would become furious and begin to fight and consequently, break furniture and smash plates during these drunken brawls. To avoid this disaster, the owner, Anastas Bogomilov devised a plan - to make a well nourishing starter and a symbol of the public union in one dish. He had one of his cooks prepare and serve this new salad at the 1918 New Years Eve, where the red of beetroots symbolized the red flag and potatoes were the food of peasants, thus bringing the two classes together. Visitors and guests loved this new item on the menu and began to order it often. As the salad is nourishing and filling, the guests did not get drunk as fast thus reducing altercations and keeping furniture intact. Moral of the story: serve Vodka with Shuba to avoid broken furniture and dishes. 😉
People soon forgot the origins of the salad, but it continues to remain an integral part of a festive table. In Russia, Shuba is mostly served at New Year celebrations and other parties. Because New Years is one of Russia's biggest celebrations, most Russian cooks would prepare an entire legion of hearty and delicious dishes meant to amaze family and friends. Shuba was often served alongside Meat Aspic, Olivier, and Beet Salad, other New Year's faves.
In short, Shuba is a layered salad made of finely chopped salted herring filet, potatoes, carrots, beets and eggs all slathered with rich mayonnaise between the vegetables. As with many dishes, the recipes vary from cook to cook but you can be certain most Slavic households are very fond of this traditional dish.
Related: Homemade Mayonnaise
This layered salad has undergone a number of changes throughout the years and depending on the region: some add onions, others rotate the layers, and yet others use a different fish altogether but one thing is still constant - the salad is beloved by many Slavs around the world. Because herring takes an acquired taste to enjoy, you can easily swap it with cured salmon or lox and still achieve that delicious flavor. I also prefer to tuck the fish in the center between the vegetables for even distribution of all flavors. You can experiment with the order of vegetables and come up with your own version. I would love to hear what you come up with!
Note: Cured Salmon is traditionally brined or salt-cured but never cooked or smoked. I prefer cured salmon for it's very silky and rich texture. (Get my recipe to Cured Salmon HERE) Smoked salmon is exposed to smoke after the brining process. I've used both in this layered salad with great results but prefer the cured salmon.
Lox Layered Salad (Salmon and Root Vegetables)
There may be many steps in this salad, but they really are very simple steps (cooking vegetables & eggs, grating vegetables & eggs, layering vegetable & eggs) It does require some time as the layers then need to set for at least 30-60 minutes to make it easier to cut into.
Regular Stove Top Method: In 2 separate pots of boiling water, add scrubbed carrots and potatoes in one and beets in another. Cook vegetables in boiling water until fork tender. Carrots will admittedly cook much quicker than potatoes. Remove vegetables from water and let cool completely before making salad. Cook eggs as you normally would for hard-boiled eggs. Allow to completely cool.
Instant Pot Method: Cut potatoes in half crosswise for even cooking. Place the trivet in the liner and pour 1 cup of liquid. Carefully place halved potatoes, eggs, then carrots on top of the trivet. Close the lid, turn the knob to sealing. Press "manual" and reduce time from 30 to 5 minutes by pressing the "-" button. Walk away and let it do its' magic. Once done cooking, allow to NPR for 5 minutes, then do QR until all pressure is released. Making sure the pin is down, carefully open the lid, remove the vegetables and eggs and allow to cool completely.
Note: You can use precooked beets (Love Beets is a good brand) and avoid having to cook them altogether.
The amount of ingredients called for in the recipe make for a generous portion of two of these 3-cup glass dishes (found in this set): They come with lids making it super convenient for storage.
I hope you give this intriguing salad a chance, and it very well could be the crowning glory of your next dinner party. Besides, all that delicious resistant starch (potatoes) and protein (lox and eggs) makes this a complete meal.
Lox Layered Salad (Salmon and Root Vegetables)
- 2 large beets , unpeeled
- 3 large Yukon potatoes , unpeeled
- 4 large orange carrots , unpeeled
- 6 eggs , hard-boiled
- 12 oz . cured/smoked salmon (see recipe HERE)
- 1 cup mayonnaise (see recipe HERE) OR buy (my pick)
- green scallions and dill for garnish
- In 2 separate pots of boiling water, add scrubbed carrots and potatoes in one and beets in another.
- Cook vegetables in boiling water until fork tender. Carrots will admittedly cook much quicker than potatoes.
- Remove vegetables from water and let cool completely before making salad. Cook eggs as you normally would for hard-boiled eggs. Allow to completely cool.
Instant Pot Method:
- Cut potatoes in half crosswise for even cooking.
- Place the trivet in the liner and pour 1 cup of liquid. Carefully place halved potatoes, eggs, then carrots on top of the trivet.
- Close the lid, turn the knob to sealing. Press "manual" and reduce time from 30 to 5 minutes by pressing the "-" button.
- Walk away and let it do its' magic. Once done cooking, allow to NPR for 5 minutes, then do QR until all pressure is released.
- Making sure the pin is down, carefully open the lid, remove the vegetables and eggs and allow to cool completely.
- Once cooled, peel beets, potatoes and eggs. Using medium grater, grate all vegetables and eggs, each into separate bowls. Finely dice salmon, reserving 3 small slices for garnish.
- To assemble*: layer the ingredients in this order with approximately ¼ cup mayonnaise between them: half of beets (reserve the other half for the top), carrots, mayonnaise, potatoes, mayonnaise, salmon, eggs, mayonnaise, beets, mayonnaise.
- Place assembled salad into refrigerator for 30 minutes for easier slicing.
- Garnish with additional salmon (simply roll them to make roses), green onions, and dill.
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