There are lots of names for this salad and I was really confused about which one to use here. You can find it as Colorful Salad simply because of its vivid colors, Marinated, Pickled or even Scalded because of the way it's prepared, and there's also this name Russian I use the most often. I guess it can be confusing, as most of you probably associate the name Russian Salad with the creamy mayo-based salad also known as Olivier, but this is the name I have always used for this salad. I really can't tell what makes it Russian, but for me it will always be one! :)
I have this recipe from my grandma. I remember she would make a full huge pot of this, pack it into jars, and we would have a treat during the whole winter. We would usually serve it instead of fresh salad for lunch, and some would eat it as a snack with spirits. I liked to pick the cucumbers the same way my little daughter prefers the carrots now, which is good, as each has its own "share".. :)
The recipe I'm using has changed quite a lot with time. The last couple of years I've been omitting one of the "standard" ingredients because my hubby doesn't like it, and that is green tomatoes. I didn't put them on the ingredients list this time, but if you like them, you can add them indeed. Just read the notes below to see how. I've also modified the quantities of the rest of the vegetables according to our taste, and you can do it as well. Just follow note 3! :)
And these are the ingredients needed:
- The quantities of vegetables given above don't have to be precise or exact. A few grams more or less won't make a difference.
- It is important, however, to measure the vegetables when peeled or when pedicles, seeds and cores removed, as those can change the weight quite significantly.
- If you're using green tomatoes, subtract their quantity from the quantity of other veggies. For example, if you have 500 g of green tomatoes, you will use 500 g less vegetables than listed above (let's say 1350 g cucumbers, 1350 g carrots, 1750 g cabbage and 450 g peppers). You can alter the quantities to your taste. You just need to keep the vegetables:marinade ratio.
- If it happens that you have less marinade than needed (see step 5), for example if vegetables are a bit dry, you can make some additional quantity and add it later (when cooled) as needed.
3. Now, prepare the marinade. Put oil, vinegar, salt and sugar into a pot and heat it until it starts boiling and sugar and salt melt completely.
4. Carefully pour the hot marinade onto the vegetables, right after you've removed it from fire. Stir well using a spoon. Cover with foil or kitchen towel and let it stand for 8-10 hours or overnight at room temperature. During this time vegetables will release their juice and will make a delicious "dressing".
Note once again, if it happens that you have less marinade than needed, for example if vegetables are a bit dry, you can make some additional quantity, let it cool and fill the jars.
You can serve it right after marinating or at your convenience.
Enjoy and bon appétit!