Dinner Tonight: Ensalada Rusa Recipe

Dinner Tonight

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Dinner Tonight: Ensalada Rusa Recipe

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.

  • Yield:4 people
  • Active time: 45 minutes
  • Total time:45 minutes.


  • 6 ounces red potatoes, peeled, chopped into ½-inch pieces
  • 6 ounces turnips, peeled, chopped ½-inch pieces
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled, chopped into ½-inch pieces
  • 4 ounces string beans, chopped into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 8 ounces beets, peeled, chopped into ½-inch pieces
  • 4 leave romaine lettuce
  • salt and pepper
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise


  1. 1.

    Fill large pot with steamer basket halfway up with water. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. All the vegetables need to be cook separately until tender. Potatoes will take about seven minutes. Turnips and carrots will take about five minutes. String beans will take four minutes. Frozen peas take one minute. Lastly, the beets take about eight minutes. When each is done, transfer to a large bowl, expect for the beats. Set those aside in a different bowl. You may need to add more water to pot during this process.

  2. 2.

    Let everything cool for five minutes. Then toss potato, turnip, carrots, string beans, and peas together. Fold in mayonnaise. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  3. 3.

    Place one romaine leaf on four different plates. Divide potato mixture between plates. Sprinkle beets on top of each plate.