Recipe: Ensalada de Remolacha | Venezuelan Beet Salad

25 Mar

I wasn’t sure how to call this recipe, and I don’t know where it came from or how it came to be. All I know is that I have always called this salad the “Ensalada Rusa”, which means Russian Salad. I just didn’t want to call this recipe the ‘Venezuelan Russian Salad’, because that doesn’t make sense. However, I am pretty sure that is not the name for this salad, because when I Google it I get the recipes for a different salad, a salad similar to chicken salad or Olivier Salad.

When I was a kid I was not a fan of the word salad or “ensalada”. When I would ask “What’s for lunch?”, I didnt want to hear that salad was on the menu. However, my mom used to make this beet salad all the time, because she knew it was the one salad I would eat, and even ask for seconds. My grandma also used to make the same beet salad, but she included lettuce in it, and I wasn’t a fan of the lettuce addition. I would still eat it, but I probably wouldn’t ask for seconds. This salad is delicious, mainly because it’s not really a salad. I consider it more of a side dish, a carb-loaded side dish. And who doesn’t love carbs?

These past holidays my sister came to visit us from Venezuela and I asked her to help me cook some of my favorite dishes so I could blog about them and post the recipes. As soon as she told me she always makes this salad back home, I knew I had to go buy the ingredients and have her show me how to make it. I had never found a good recipe online, and I wanted to know how my mom used to make it. So we bought all the ingredients and she made it for me. It was just like my mom used to make it, and it was very easy, too.

One thing you must know… this salad is pink! My sister and I even thought it would be a great salad or side dish to serve at a bachelorette’s party, girl’s baby shower or party… or any pink themed party!

Ingredients Venezuelan Beet Salad

Ingredients Venezuelan Beet Salad

What you need:
– 3 Small to Medium Potatoes
– 3 Eggs
– 2 Beets
– 2 to 3 Carrot Sticks
– ¼ Chopped Onion
– ½ Cup Mayo
– 1 Teaspoon Vinegar
– 1 ½ Teaspoon Lemon Juice
– 1 Teaspoon Salt

Preparation:

1. Rinse all the vegetables. You don’t have to peel the beets, in fact, you shouldn’t. But you can peel the potatoes and carrots if you wish to save some time.
2. Boil the beets in a large pot with enough water to cover them entirely. You don’t have to boil all the vegetables separately, but it is preferred that you do. (Beets usually take around 45 minutes)
3. On a separate pot boil the potatoes and carrots. (About 15-20 minutes)
4. On a separate pot, boil the eggs. (About 7 minutes – and peel once done)
5. Once all your vegetables are ready, you can put them in a bowl with cold water and ice so they are easier to handle.
6. Cut all the ingredients in small cubes and put them in a large bowl. Don’t forget the onion.

Venezuelan Beet Salad

Cut into small pieces

Venezuelan Beet Salad

Add vegetables and eggs in a large bowl

7. Add the mayo, vinegar and lemon juice and mix well, but delicately so you don’t smash any ingredients and it turns into puree.

Venezuelan Beet Salad

Add the mayo and mix delicately

8. Add salt to taste and you can add white pepper if you wish.
9. Serve cold.

Ensalada de Remolacha | Venezuelan Beet Salad

Ensalada de Remolacha | Venezuelan Beet Salad

Ensalada de Remolacha | Venezuelan Beet Salad

Ensalada de Remolacha | Venezuelan Beet Salad

¡Buen Provecho!

*Optional: Some people (like my grandma) like to add finely chopped lettuce to this salad. My mom also adds a bit of mustard sometimes. Other people add a bit of extra virgin olive oil and even a touch of soy sauce.

12 Responses to “Recipe: Ensalada de Remolacha | Venezuelan Beet Salad”

  1. Nestor Calderon March 26, 2013 at 05:59 #

    I grew up in Venezuela – and this is pretty much the Remolacha salad my mother used to fix – However, the term Russian Salad does not apply to this salad, because the Russian Salad I knew of, had peas and potatoes as its main ingredients, but not remolachas (beets). Maybe in another part of the country.

    Thanks for sharing, I had forgotten how good the salad was, so I fixed it.

    • mwolowicz March 26, 2013 at 06:14 #

      Nestor,

      Thank you for visiting the blog, and thank you for your comment. I still don’t know why I remember this salad as “Ensalada Russa”, but I know that is not the name for it. I am glad you enjoyed the recipe though. Please share photos of your salad next time you make it.

      MW

  2. BillboTex April 17, 2013 at 20:34 #

    You didn’t mention in your “preparation” section, so I wanted to check with you. Do the chopped onions get grilled to translucency or are they added raw? Normally I like sweet grilled onion much better than raw. Your recipe looks delicious!

    • mwolowicz April 18, 2013 at 06:22 #

      Hello BillboTex,

      Thank you for visiting te blog and for your question. For this recipe, the onions are added in raw. I also prefer cooked onions over raw, however you can leave them out or add a smaller amount. In the end I think you won’t taste them that much, though.

      MW

  3. Deanna August 13, 2013 at 13:15 #

    I just discovered Venezuelan food last week while visiting San Francisco, and my whole family has been raving about the delicious flavors ever since! I found your blog searching for Venezuelan recipes so I can try my hand at it, and I had to chuckle when I found this recipe. My family is Lithuanian, and they share a lot of cuisine with Russia. This is extremely similar to our beet recipes — just sub out the mayo and acidic foods for straight-up sour cream and there you have it! Wouldn’t that be something — an American with Lithuanian heritage eating Venezuelan food inspired by Russia?!

    • mwolowicz August 13, 2013 at 13:17 #

      Deanna,

      Thank you for visiting the blog and thank you for your comment. I love to hear when food traditions come together and how our food resembles food in other countries… Yes, that is something special. Please feel free to try out any of the Venezuelan food recipes on my blog and report back to let me know how it went.

      MW

  4. Carolina April 25, 2015 at 18:50 #

    My grandma makes this salad all the time its one of my favorites. She calls it ensalada maracucha. whats different is that she layers the ingredients instead of mixing them together.

    • mwolowicz April 26, 2015 at 16:16 #

      Carolina,

      Thank you for visiting the blog and thank you for your comment. I have never heard of it being called Ensalada Maracucha, but I wonder if it is called like that whenever it is served in layers, or if that’s just something your grandma made up😉

      MW

  5. Natika July 26, 2015 at 14:31 #

    My boyfriend is from El Salvador and this is the recipe they use while making “ensalada Rusa”. They don’t use peas, just the ingredients you listed. I love this, so yummy.

    • mwolowicz July 27, 2015 at 10:48 #

      Natika,

      Thank you for visiting the blog and thank you for your comment. I see that there is still confusion and mixups when it comes to the actual name of this salad, even in other Latin American countries. I still call it Ensalada Rusa, even though I know its wrong😉.

      MW

  6. Anna October 28, 2015 at 20:14 #

    Actually, you’re not wrong…like the commentor who said her boyfriend from El Salvador calls it “ensalada rusa”, that’s what they call it in Venezuela, too. Sometimes they call it “ensalada rosada” (which means pink). I lived in Venezuela for awhile and heard it both ways and ate a lot of it and your recipe was just what I was looking for! Also, another commentor called it “ensalada maracucha”…”Marcucha” is just the name for someone or something (female like the word ensalada-it ends with an “a”) from the city Maracaibo in northwest Venezuela. So maybe in Maracaibo they layer the salad or maybe the person who passed along the recipe is from there🙂

    • mwolowicz October 29, 2015 at 08:55 #

      Anna,

      Thank you for visiting the blog and thank you for your comment. I am glad you found the recipe you were looking for in my blog. Yes, there is a discrepancy over the name… A lot of people like you and I know it as “Ensalada Rusa”, and even “Ensalada Rosada” like you said… However, other people say that is not the actual name for the salad. Russian salad refers to a different salad, which is very similar, but it doesn’t contain beets. Regardless of the name, we can all agree this beet salad is delicious.

      MW

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