Sixties Salads: “Dutch Salad” with Herring

Sixties salads are really something else.  Those ladies (puh-lease, no gender neutrality necessary here – the gents were all off sippin’ old fashioneds) were willing to chop up anything, put it in mayo, and serve it up.  OK, so maybe I’m exaggerating.  But seriously, salads and canapes were a staple of any wife’s party repertoire, and there are many varieties of both scattered around the books on The Collection.  Sometimes you find some with interesting flavor combos we might not necessarily think of in the 21st century.

This particular salad was found in the “National Salads” section of Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management.  I love it – it’s a stolidly British attempt to be international and adventurous.  This salad was billed as “Flemish or Dutch” because it features herring.  The original recipe calls for chopping everything up and serving it on a bed of Romaine.  I updated the composition and dressing, but stuck with the original herring-beet-apple-potato base, with great results!  If you’re into herring at all, you’ll like this: the apples and beets and dressing highlight the sweetness and tanginess of the fish in a really fun way.  Try it out and serve it up in your best Betty Draper apron…this goes for gents too.

“Dutch Salad” with Herring, Apples, Beets, and Potatoes (Serves 2)

For the Salad:
2 cups baby arugula, washed and spun dry
2 new potatoes, each 2″ in diameter
2 beets, each 2″ in diameter
1 Gala apple, cored and thinly sliced
1 Dill pickle, thinly sliced crosswise
8 pieces pickled herring
1/2 small red onion, chopped

For the Dressing:
2 tbsp. sour cream
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. horseradish mustard (or horseradish plus Dijon mustard)
2 tsp. picking juice from herring
Ground pepper to taste

1. Boil the potatoes until tender (about 20 minutes), rinse in cold water, and slice thin. Simmer the beets until done (about 20 minutes – or microwave, covered, for 6), rinse in cold water, and slice thin.
2. Arrange the potatoes, beets, apple, pickles, and herring on top of the arugula. Sprinkle chopped onion on top.
3. Whisk all dressing ingredients together in a small bowl, drizzle dressing over the salad, and serve.