Let me start by telling you that this is not my actual grandmother´s recipe. I gave it that name because I found it in one of my mom´s cookbooks, called “La Cocina de la Abuela“ (grandma´s kitchen). Throughout the years, I´ve tried several recipes from that book, and always liked them, so when I was preparing my shopping list for the organic farmer´s market on Saturday, I looked in there for inspiration.
In page 35, I found an easy Ensalada Rusa (Russian salad), that is a classic side dish or appetizer in many Peruvian kitchens. However, I wasn´t in the mood for something that simple (potatoes, carrots and peas), as I have lately been trying to eat a rainbow in every meal.
I was about to turn the page, when a headnote above the recipe caught my eye. It contained a mini recipe for an old, (perhaps the original), Russian salad preparation, popular in Lima in the early 20th century. This one contained not only the 3 veggies already mentioned, but also asparagus, cauliflower, string beans, fresh beans, beets, and corn. Bingo! The ingredients went down on the list, and this is the result.
- ½ a large, or 1 small cauliflower, cut in cubes
- 1 bunch of asparagus, cut in small pieces
- ½ cup peas
- 1 carrot, cubes
- 1-2 cups potatoes, cut in cubes
- 3 small, or 1-2 large beets
- 1 cup fresh beans
- ½-1 cup string beans, cut in small pieces
- ½-1 cup corn kernels
- Salt and pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2-4 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 hard boiled eggs
- Steam or boil the veggies (it`s better to cook them before cutting, and to do it separately as different veggies have different cooking times).
- Mix all the vegetables, except the carrot, and add salt, pepper, olive oil and lime juice. Mix well.
- In a pyrex, put a layer of veggies, then cover with a thin layer of mayonnaise (store-bought or fresh), and then with another layer of veggies.
- Finish with mayonnaise, hard boiled eggs, and carrot cubes, to decorate.