A Twisted Xmas Cake (Fancy Potato Salad in Disguise)

This salad is my vegetarian version of a Russian salad called “Herring under a fur coat”. I made this for our Christmas dinner. Doesn’t it have a festival look to it?

For one cake (16 cm in diameter and 8 cm high), you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of roughly mashed cooked potatoes (boiled or steamed)
  • 1 cup of roughly mashed cooked carrots (boiled or steamed)
  • 1 cup of finely chopped boiled beetroots (you can also use canned beets)
  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 small red onion finely sliced (1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 – 1 cups of good quality mayonnaise (this depends on how much you love your mayonnaise)
  • 2 tablespoons capers*
  • a little green garnish (parsley, mint or a curl of green spring onion)

Follow these steps:

  1. Roughly mash potatoes.
  2. Roughly mash carrots in a separate bowl.
  3. Finely dice beetroots or chop into fine strips.
  4. Chop eggs finely.
  5. Place a cake ring** on a plate you are going to serve with, evenly scatter capers on the bottom.
  6. Place sliced onions evenly on top and spread with a thin layer of mayonnaise.
  7. Place mashed potatoes evenly on top and spread with a thin layer of mayonnaise.
  8. Place mashed carrots evenly on top and spread with a thin layer of mayonnaise.
  9. Place chopped eggs evenly on top and spread with a thin layer of mayonnaise.
  10. Place chopped beetroots evenly on top.
  11. Refrigerate for 3 hours or longer (can be made a day in advance of serving)
  12. When it’s time to serve, take the cake ring off and put a little green garnish on top for that Christmas look***.

* The Russian recipe calls for sliced salted herrings, which is also very nice. Soak herrings in some milk for an hour before using.

 ** I made a ring out of tin foil and baking paper (picture to the left). The ring doesn’t need to be super strong – it just needs to hold its shape with the salad inside. You can also use a normal tin and layer everything in reverse, then invert it onto a plate before serving.

Beware if you do this the beetroot will be “stained” by the mayonnaise.

*** The Russian recipe actually spreads another layer of mayonnaise on top of the beetroot, with a little more chopped eggs sprinkled on as garnish.

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