We ate this salad on a regular basis in Beirut and it was called salade russe (russian salad); it was served in a carved tomato, and consisted of a medley of diced vegetables (peas, carrots, potatoes and beets), smothered in mayo.
Why was it called russian salad? did it truly come from the Russian cuisine? Was it brought to Lebanon by the Russian emigrés who fled the Soviet dictatorship in the 20s and that we called ” The White Russians”? I have no idea.
My version adds shrimp to the mix and a garlicky homemade mayonnaise, with a bit of curry.
- 4 tomatoes, medium sized
- 1/4 pound of shrimp
- 1/4 cup of chopped parsley (can use dill instead)
- 2 cups of diced carrots & peas
- one cup of homemade mayonnaise (recipe follows)
- Carve the tomatoes with a serrated knife and a spoon and reserve the flesh for another purpose.
- Lightly salt the tomato shells and set aside.
- Prepare the mayonnaise by placing some garlic cloves (about 3) in a blender, a dash of salt and a teaspoon of lemon juice. Whirl the blender and add to it one egg white. Start whirling the blender for one minute until the mixture is creamy white. Add one cup of oil in a thin stream, very slowly, until the mixture is thickened and fluffy; add one more tablespoon of lemon juice and a dash of curry.
- Cook the vegetables if frozen. Set aside. Fry the shrimps in a bit of oil and add to the vegetables; add the parsley or dill and some mayonnaise. Taste and adjust seasoning. Fill the tomato cups and serve.
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