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!