Russian bean salad

    12 hours 45 min

    Beetroot, soya beans and potatoes are tossed in a piquant soured cream dressing, then served on a salad of rocket, fennel and tomatoes in this delicious and refreshing main-course salad, which is suitable for vegetarians. Serve with dark rye bread so you can mop up all the creamy dressing.

    1 person made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 150 g (5½ oz) dried soya beans, soaked overnight
    • 450 g (1 lb) small new potatoes, scrubbed and halved
    • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
    • 250 g (8½ oz) peeled, cooked beetroot (not pickled), diced
    • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) tomatoes, sliced
    • 1 bulb of fennel, thinly sliced
    • 55 g (2 oz) rocket
    • salt and pepper
    • Soured cream dressing
    • 150 ml (5 fl oz) soured cream
    • 150 g (5½ oz) plain low-fat yogurt
    • 4 sweet and sour gherkins, finely chopped
    • 2 tbsp creamed horseradish
    • 1 tsp caster sugar

    Prep:10hr  ›  Cook:2hr45min  ›  Ready in:12hr45min 

    1. Drain the soaked beans and rinse under cold running water. Put in a saucepan and cover with fresh water. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for 10–15 minutes, then partly cover and simmer for about 2½ hours or until tender. Drain and leave to cool.
    2. Put the potatoes in a saucepan of boiling water and simmer for about 15 minutes or until just tender. Drain and leave until cool enough to handle.
    3. Meanwhile, for the dressing, mix together the soured cream and yogurt in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the chopped gherkins, horseradish, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste.
    4. Add the soya beans and shallots to the bowl and stir into the dressing. Cut the warm potatoes into cubes and add to the bean mixture, then gently fold in the beetroot.
    5. Divide the tomatoes, fennel and rocket among 4 serving plates. Spoon the soya bean salad on top and serve immediately.

    Another idea

    To make a broad bean and smoked haddock salad, substitute 2 cans broad beans, about 410 g each, drained and rinsed, for the soya beans. Instead of diced potatoes use small new potatoes and leave them whole. In the dressing, replace the horseradish with 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill. In step 4, omit the beetroot and add 225 g (8 oz) flaked cooked smoked haddock. Serve spooned onto a salad made by tossing together 1 seeded and thinly sliced red pepper, the segments from 2 large oranges, 45 g (1½ oz) watercress sprigs and 200 g (7 oz) torn romaine lettuce leaves.

    Plus points

    Soya beans are rich in phytoestrogens and it is thought that they can help to protect against osteoporosis or brittle bone disease. Eating soya products also seems to help relieve many of the symptoms associated with the menopause. * Traditionally, beetroot was believed to help keep blood healthy, probably because of its deep red colour. Indeed it does contain folate, a B vitamin that is needed for the prevention of anaemia. * Fennel provides useful amounts of potassium and folate. In natural medicine it is believed to aid digestion, and to relieve wind and stomach cramps.

    Each serving provides

    C, folate, copper, potassium * A, B1, B6, E, calcium, iron, selenium, zinc * B2, niacin

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