A Symphony of Taste in a Salad
No one can convince me that a brilliant symphony has more substance than a brilliant salad.
We dedicate statues to Mozart, why don’t we dedicate a statue to Monsieur Olivier?
New Year’s Eve is not another random holiday. It is an entire world of emotions, expectations, traditions, and symbols. The New Year is not just a New Year’s Tree, Father Frost with a Snow Maiden, and presents; it is also a festive dinner table with champagne, caviar, tangerines, and – of course – traditional salads.
Whatever culinary delicacies are being invented by chefs, our ladies remain loyal to the traditional Russian salad, Dressed Herring, and Vinegret. With time, the traditional recipes have been improved and adapted. These are the dishes of our childhood and they never get dull!
Back in Soviet times, many components of these salads were in deficit; for example, the green peas, sausage, and mayonnaise could only be bought if you knew someone working in a grocery store or after standing in a huge line. Today, all the ingredients are sold in all supermarkets, and the preparation of the beloved appetizers requires minimal time and effort.
New Year’s salads are delicious, nourishing, and presentable. This is an undeniable fact. But are they just as healthy? Let’s try to see.
We’ll start with the Russian salad. As a rule, it contains boiled potato, carrots, eggs, meat (chicken or veal) or sausage, green peas, cucumbers (fresh or pickled), and greens. The salad is traditionally dressed with mayonnaise (ideally homemade) and sour cream, but you can also experiment with fresh cream or natural yoghurt, which will decrease its calorie count and will make it more digestible. As we can see, the salad contains vitamins, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, animal and vegetable proteins, as well as dietary fibers. This means the salad’s ingredients on their own can satiate you and provide you with nutritious substances. The only thing that is questionable is the dressing, which is mayonnaise. It’s very high in calories and bad for your stomach. And if you buy your mayonnaise from a store, you cannot be sure of the quality. We suggest that you make it yourself so it won’t be as fatty.
The average calorie count of the Russian salad is 150-190 calories per a 100-g serving (people are unlikely to eat more at a dinner table that abounds with other dishes). In comparison, a glass of orange juice is 120 calories. Yet, the salad will make you feel satiated, while the juice will only work up your appetite. So don’t be afraid of the Russian salad: when prepared of quality ingredients and consumed moderately, it will only serve you right. And to make sure that all the salad’s ingredients are well digested, nutritionists suggest you first eat a piece of meat or fish, or some other protein-containing food.
Another traditional New Year’s salad is Dressed Herring. It is made of herring, boiled potato, beetroot, carrots, eggs with the addition of onions (sometime marinated), sour apples (optional) and dressed with mayonnaise. What you get as a result is a nutritious, tasty and nice-looking appetizer. It’s interesting to note that this dish has all the components of Ukrainian borscht: potato, beetroot, carrots, and onions. All of which are good for you. And if you don’t boil them but roast them in foil, they will preserve even more vitamins and minerals.
Dressed Herring contains vitamins of the B group, vitamin A, E, PP, folic acid, dietary fibers, amino acids, ferrum, magnesium, potassium, iodine and other nutrients. The herring’s calorie count is 150-180 calories per 100 g (equal to 200 g of natural yoghurt). In addition to that, the dish’s ingredients facilitate digestion and intestinal motility, they help remove toxins, cleanse blood vessels, and produce hemoglobin.
People who closely watch their health and figure are sometimes concerned about the herring and mayonnaise in this salad. We have already proved that mayonnaise does not necessarily have to be harmful. What about the herring? It’s quite a fatty kind of fish with a high content of protein, fatty Omega-3 acids, lipoproteins (healthy cholesterol), vitamin D, antioxidants, all of which makes it especially good for your heart and vessels, your bones, kidneys, brain and eye-sight. It’s interesting that the herring fat reduces the size of adipocytes (fat cells) and helps us combat excess weight and weight-related diseases. And if you’re put off by the fish’s salty taste, you can always let it soak in milk for a while. The Swedes even have a proverb about it: “A herring on the table keeps the doctor away.”
This healthy fish is often part of another traditional salad – Vinegret. It has an especially festive look on the table: it combines orange carrots with dark-red beetroot, white potato, sauerkraut and onions, green peas and pickles. The salad is dressed with vegetable oil, sometimes with a sprinkle of vinegar. In addition to the above ingredients, Vinegret may also contain beans or pickled mushrooms. Every cook is free to add her own secret ingredient. For all the components to preserve their original color, mix the beetroot with oil first, and only later add other vegetables.
Vinegret’s components are rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Its calorie count is only 125 calories per 100 g. That’s why this salad is often a staple food for many diets. When at a dinner party, even the most sophisticated healthy food aficionados can afford to taste it.
All of your favorite traditional New Year’s salads are available in the Korchma restaurants. Our menu contains Russian salad with sausage or with chicken, a delicious Dressed Herring with a homemade mayo, Vinegret with herring, and numerous other traditional and new salads.
New Year’s Eve is a time for miracles. The beloved dishes on your New Year’s dinner table will decorate the main holiday of the year and create a cozy family ambiance.