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Dinner Tonight: Ensalada Rusa

I'm not exactly sure why I jumped all over this recipe from Daisy Martinez's Daisy: Morning, Noon, and Night. I'm a big fan of Martinez and have used her recipes before. But this is a straight-up old-school salad, complete with a mayonnaise dressing and a frivolous romaine leaf garnish. There are no spices, citrus, or even herbs. So why did my wife and I devour a bowl of it the other night?

Probably because of the wonderful collection of root vegetables. The potatoes, turnips, carrots, and beets all have their own character and flavor, and this salad really highlights the sweetness of each one.

The peas and string beans add some much needed color, along with a sweetness of their own. The most difficult part of this recipe is steaming all the different vegetables. None of them cook in the same number of minutes, so you have to cook each separately. It takes about 40 minutes or so, but is relatively painless work. I suppose you could try to add more than one to the steamer basket at the same time, but then you'd have to worry about crowding.

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