Traditional Apple & Beetroot side salad.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
A staple on any Scandinavian Smörgåsbord, pickled beetroot and apple salad can be enjoyed on its own or with meatballs – or even as part of a larger salad. As it is quite a heavy mayonnaise based salad it is rarely eaten just on its own, however, it is so versatile, you can add a dollop of this to just about any dish or salad or sandwich.
This side salad is the best seller at the cafe. We prepare enormous amounts of this daily and use it as a side but also with our meatball open sandwiches and meatball crusty rolls.
The secret is to use a pickled beetroot that is quite sweet but with good depth of flavour, such as Felix or Beauvais, and a good, tart apple for contrast.
If you cannot get hold of Scandinavian pickled beetroot, do try Eastern European pickled beets as these are similar. If using UK beets, note you may need to add a teaspoon of icing sugar to the finished result or you will have a sour salad.
1 jar of pickled beetroot 300g (drained weight approx. 280g)
½ Granny Smith apple (or apple with similar tart notes)
50g Crème fraiche
Squeeze of lemon juice
Dash of balsamic vinegar
1 tbs chopped chives (optional)
Drain the beetroot well and cut into 1 cm pieces. Peel and cut apple into similar sized pieces.
Mix the beetroot and apple in a bowl, add mayonnaise and crème fraiche and stir. You are looking for a good creamy consistency and a medium pink colour (if the beetroot is not drained properly, you will get a runny consistency).
Season to taste (add sugar if using a tart variety of pickled beetroot). Add more mayo and crème fraiche, if a creamier salad is desired.
The colour of the salad will go darker once it sets. Leave to set in the fridge for a few hours or even overnight. If it goes too dark, just add a bit more crème fraiche or mayonnaise just before serving. If using chives, add chopped on top before serving.
Photo by Pete Cassidy, from the book The ScandiKitchen by Bronte Aurell, published by Ryland, Peters and Small.