I actually first had this layered salad at a Russian restaurant-cum-sauna in the distant suburbs of Dallas. It was a gorgeous creation, with shaved bits of boiled egg white making up the fluffy "fur coat" on top. But it also seemed very work-intensive. I thought I would make a version that would combine the right tastes, but skimp on the looks. I also wanted to make it a tiny bit lighter than the original version.
I started, as I always do, by looking through my cookbooks. I looked in Anya von Bremzen's Please to the Table: The Russian Cookbook, in Darra Goldstein's A Taste of Russia: A Cookbook of Russian Hospitality, in Russian Regional Recipes and in Russian, Polish & German Cooking. Zip. Zilch. While these books had plenty of recipes for herring and for beets, I couldn't find the one I was looking for. So after some googling, I fell upon (of course!) a recipe for it on Yulinka Cooks, one of my favourite food blogs. This version is inspired by her recipe, but takes a few shortcuts, and for the quantities I went by feel. Use this as a guideline, and adjust as you please.
Herring under a fur coat variation
- 3 small potatoes, boiled, peeled, and diced
- 1 can sliced beets, roughly chopped
- 3 hard-boiled eggs, roughly chopped
- 1 package herring, cut into little pieces
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 3 pickles, diced
- tablespoon fresh dill, more if dried
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Bulgarian yoghurt
- to taste Salt and pepper
- Mix all the ingredients together.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Eat immediately with dark bread, or marinate overnight.