About Beth

Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

« Gamberetti all'Olio d Limone-Poached Shrimp with Olive Oil and Lemon Juice | Main | Salmon Foam »

Insalata Russa--Shrimp Salad with Assorted Vegetables

I'm so excited to post my first entry on the blog dedicated to Marcella Hazan.
I'm Jan from Tallahassee, Florida.
The recipe is called "Russian Salad" and Marcella says that the only thing Russian about it is that it includes beets. In my travels in Piemonte, I remember eating insalata russa in some restaurants and it being simple potato salad. This was far from a simple potato salad. It was fantastic!

First, I had to boil the shrimp, in their shells, with salt and a little vinegar in the water. We are lucky enough to get fabulous, fresh, wild Gulf of Mexico shrimp here and they lived up to their reputation.

Then I had to make the mayonnaise. I had done it before in the food processor but not in the stand mixer; it worked out fine. I used extra virgin olive oil and the resulting color was a beautiful light greenish shade. The flavor was really powerful when it was first finished; I was afraid it would be overwhelming but it worked beautifully in the salad. (My first lesson in trusting Marcella)


Then I cooked all the various veggies before cutting them into little cubes.
It made a very colorful mise in place.


Then the real fun began. After folding everything together, you form the salad into a dome shape and basically "ice" it with the remaining mayo. I didn't have quite enough for a thinck layer but I thought the effect was pretty enough. After covering the dome, you get to play--decorating the surface and plate with the reserved vegetables and shrimp.


The best part is that the salad tastes devine! The flavors of each vegetable are there but they meld, with the help of the assertive mayonnaise, to a wonderful, complex harmony. We really enjoyed this seasonal offering.
I can't wait to try the next recipe in the book!

Comments (16)


Beautiful! Bet it tasted as good as it looks.

Interesting what you wrote about "trust Marcella." That's what separates a great cooking authority from so many others. I cannot tell you how many recipes I have where that trust did not get earned.

I need this book!


Way to go! That is absolutely beautiful...


Jan! Brava amica mia!! Your insalata looks fantastica!! You are beaming with pride, right? :D Super nice photos and a great first post. Your shrimp are perfetto, the beets, carrots, green beans, and pea design is cool!!!!

Rah! Rah!

Terry (teaberry):

So beautiful!

Jan! Love it! What a gorgeous picture! I'm going to try to change the picture in your facebook post so the finished dish is what shows up, OK?

Wow - that looks amazing! You really out did yourself.

I know what you mean - I have faith in the recipes that I am trying in Marcella's book. Admittedly, I may not be thrilled about some of the ingredients (hello . . . lamb kidneys anyone . . .) but even then I know that the recipe itself will be sound.

Marcella Hazan:


You can't imagine the joy I feel in seeing someone bring one of my recipes to life, and to such glorious life. My gratitude and respect go to all of you who are so conscientious embarked on this project. Let me know if there is ever an explanation or a suggestion I can offer to smooth the way for you.

With love, Marcella

Jan, that is beautiful! Brava!

That is a work of art!! And, sounds yummy!

Dale Michelson:

Well done!!


Very pretty! Send me some mayo making tips:)


I was lucky enough to see it in real life! Era cosi bella - un'opera d'arte e d'amore! Brava brava!

I can just taste that yummy homemade mayonnaise! There is nothing like it!

What a great recipe to share-thanks!

Best wishes,

Ray Anne:

Jan - your dish looks beautiful. So beautiful, in fact, that Marcella commented upon it herself. I'm so impressed. I'm inching my way towards the kitchen,

OMG, Jan, you must be so thrilled! Not only is the dish gorgeous (and delicious, I am sure), but to have Marcella's "Bravissima!" must put you in the stratosphere.

Great job!

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 9, 2010 1:00 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Gamberetti all'Olio d Limone-Poached Shrimp with Olive Oil and Lemon Juice.

The next post in this blog is Salmon Foam.

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