Polish Vegetable Salad
Sounds simple and and it might seem like it’s not hard to guess what is in it, but chances are you will be surprised by this Polish salad, especially by how time consuming it is and the fact that it is probably the most fattening salad ever invented. It is a vegetarian entrée, but definitely not vegan.
In an average Polish home it is made a couple of times a year and is a must have on the holidays, usually made in large amounts. Some people avoid it because of its figure ruining effects but I have never heard of anyone who would dislike it.
It usually consists of 8 main ingredients, including cooked, raw, canned, and brined ones. Potatoes, carrots, parsley root, and celery should be cooked all together in as little amount of water as possible, without salt or any other spice and with skin on. My advice is throw an extra potato in as you will probably eat in the process. I don’t know if it’s the slow cooking or the other veggies that it is cooked with, but it tastes great with just a little bit of salt. Anyway, you peel the veggies after they are done, then chop them up. My salad is well chopped as my family thinks it is better that way, but it can be bigger dice as well. I recommend making the pieces tiny though, it really tastes better that way even though it is more work. The next ingredients are boiled eggs and brined pickles. The proportions should be about even for all these, but you can use more pickles if you like as this is what gives you texture and the specific taste of this Polish salad. If you want it to have mild taste, use more potatoes. The last group are onions and canned peas. Be careful with those, especially the peas, it can ruin the salad if you put too much in. I personally think there is no need to add peas but I guess it’s tradition. My aunt replaces it with corn for instance, not sure if this is the best solution though.
The dressing is very simple, it can be just lots of mayonnaise with salt and pepper. Make sure you use good traditional one without a sweet taste to it. I think Kielecki is the best one when it comes to Polish stuff. Oh, and save fat free or light things for a different occasion too if you want the salad to taste real. You can also mix it with some sour cream and mustard, it is great that way. Remember, it needs lots of seasoning.
Do not serve it right after you stir the dressing in, just try it to see if it needs anything, cover it up with plastic wrap and let it stand in the refrigerator for a few hours. Serve with ham, country sausage or any kind of cold kiełbasa and wheat or wheat-rye bread.