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Russian Layered Herring And Vegetable Salad
Jewish Food: The World at Table by Matthew Goodman

The name of this dish literally means 'herring in a winter coat,' an evocative way of describing the heavy layering of vegetables that cover the herring. This recipe, given to me by Zell Schulman, author of the cookbook 'Passover Seders Made Simple,' comes from Zell's friend Nadezhda Zaretzky. Now living in Cincinnati, Ohio, Nadezhda Zaretzky was once a pediatrician in Odessa, Russia. She recalls how this dish was often served by Soviet Jews on Shabbat and after Yom Kippur, when Jewish rituals had to be practiced in secret.


• Schmaltz herring fillets, totaling about 12 ounces
• Milk for soaking
• 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, boiled until tender, and diced
• 12 ounces canned pickled beets, drained and diced
• 2 Granny Smith apples, grated
• 1 cup mayonnaise
• 2 carrots, peeled and grated
• 3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
• 1 large onion, finely chopped
• 1 1/2 to 2 cups chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
• Slices of rye or pumpernickel bread for accompaniment

1. Place the herring in a large bowl and add milk to cover. Soak for 30 minutes in the refrigerator, then drain. Finely chop the herring and set aside.

2. In the center of a medium platter, arrange half of the potatoes into a circle about 8 inches in diameter. Top this with a layer of half the pickled beets and then a layer of half the apples. Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise over the apples. Add a layer of half the carrots, followed with a layer of half the eggs, a layer of half the onions, and finally all of the chopped herring.

3. Cover the herring with a layer of the remaining onions, followed by the remaining eggs, and then the remaining carrots. Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise over the carrots. Top this with a layer of the remaining apples, then the remaining pickled beets, and finally the remaining potatoes. Coat the entire salad with the remaining mayonnaise. Garnish the stacked salad with the parsley. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours or overnight. Slice into wedges and serve with slices of iye or pumpernickel bread.


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