Finnish Rosolli Salad ♥ Traditional at Christmas (and Now Easter?)

Finnish Rosolli Salad,  a rainbow of grated beet, carrot and potato traditional at Christmas in Finland but somehow perfect for Easter, too. #LowCarb #Paleo #GF #Whole30 For Weight Watchers, #PP3. #AVeggieVenture
graphic button small size size 10 Today's beet salad recipe: The traditional Christmas salad in Finland called Rosolli Salad, a rainbow of grated beet, carrot and potato, served here in layers almost like a Scandinavian Seven-Layer Salad. Rosolli Salad is great for parties, especially since it not only may but should be made up to a whole day ahead of time to allow the flavors to meld. Low-Carb and Gluten-Free. With homemade mayonnaise, Paleo and Whole30. graphic button small size size 10

Um. So yes. A Finnish Rosolli Salad is traditional at Christmas, not Easter. In fact, last Christmas, we served Rosolli Salad in small, individual serving cups to start a traditional Finnish Christmas meal. Gorgeous!

But y'know what? To my taste, the taste and colors of beets and carrots are just so spring-y! So Easter it is, Easter and Christmas, that is, for I will make Rosolli Salad again and again.

Finnish Rosolli Salad,  a rainbow of grated beet, carrot and potato traditional at Christmas in Finland but somehow perfect for Easter, too. #LowCarb #Paleo #GF #Whole30 For Weight Watchers, #PP3. #AVeggieVenture
There are many, many, m-a-n-y variations of Rosolli Salad even if a trio of root vegetables (that's beet, carrot and potato) are the near-always constants. A large batch does take considerable time to prepare. Nothing is hard, nothing is tricky, it just takes time. The good news?! Rosolli Salad is better made in advance, up to a whole day ahead of time.

I don't remember eating or even seeing Rosolli Salad when I lived in Finland as a student (nor on any subsequent trips, even one after Christmas) but am so glad to know it now. I do adore this salad, I hope you do too!


Hands-on time: 75 minutes
Time to table: best after several hours, up to 24 hours
Makes about 8 cups
Serves a crowd, about 24, great for buffets or multi-course family dinners (recipe is easily scaled down for smaller gatherings)

1 pound (450g) beets, roasted (my favorite way to roast beets)
1 pound (450g) whole carrots, not baby carrots, cleaned well but skins left on
1 pound (450g) potatoes, preferably red-skinned new potatoes or Yukon golds or fingerlings, skins left

1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup buttermilk
6 green onions, white and green parts both
4 tablespoons fresh dill or parsley
Zest of 2 lemons
Horseradish to taste

Grated Vegetables, kept separately
1 hard-cooked egg, grated or chopped (Perfect Hard-Cooked Eggs)
Fresh dill or parsley

COOK THE VEGETABLES Roast the beets, this can easily be done a day or two or three ahead of time, just cover and refrigerate. Boil the carrots and potatoes in well-salted water. The carrots and potatoes may be cooked together in the same pot. If they're about the same thickness, fingerlings say, they'll finish about the same time. If not, the potatoes will take longer. Drain and let the carrots and potatoes cool, they too may be cooked a day or two ahead of time or if you prefer, just before assembling.

MIX THE DRESSING Mix all the dressing ingredients in a small food processor. Taste and adjust the green onion, lemon zest and horseradish, you want this mixture to taste good! If you'd like to "squeeze" the dressing, transfer it to a freezer bag and snip one corner. This too can be made ahead of time, up to one day.

PEEL & GRATE THE VEGETABLES Just before assembling the salad, "peel" the carrots by rubbing the skins off with a paper towel and peel off the beet skins with your fingers. (There's no need to peel the potatoes, the skins will easily separate during the grating process.) Then grate the vegetables on the large holes of a cheese grater. To avoid staining, grate the potatoes first, leaving most of the skins aside; the carrots second; and the beets last. Collect each one separately on a plate or in a bowl; you'll also want to grate the egg before grating those pink-staining beets!

ASSEMBLY In a large shallow glass bowl, assemble the salad in thin layers in this order:

1/2 the grated potato
1/2 the grated beets
1/2 the grated carrots
1/2 the dressing
Remaining grated potato
Remaining grated beets
Remaining grated carrots
Remaining dressing
Chopped egg
Fresh parsley or dill

CHILL Cover and chill for several hours, even 24 hours, before serving.

graphic button small size size 10 According to According to MammiTuokkonen, the name rosolli comes from the Russian word rosol, meaning salty.
graphic button small size size 10 SO MANY VARIATIONS! This is a classic Scandinavian salad and like all recipes that have been around forever, there are many, many m-a-n-y variations! The basics are potatoes, carrots and beets. Here are some other ideas I've found around the internet. Some times canned beets or pickled beets are used. I love the idea of pickled beets myself, you could use either Swedish Beets or Refrigerator Pickled Beets. Many recipes "cube" the beets, carrots and potatoes instead of grating them. Some recipes start with sour cream instead of mayonnaise, I love this idea too. Others start with a savory whipped cream seasoned with horseradish and/or white pepper not unlike Horseradish Whipped Cream for Beef, some even add a little beet juice to color the dressing "pink". Many recipes also call for gherkin pickles and/or fresh apple, others add pickled herring. Presentation-wise, the different ingredients are some times kept separate in wedges or stripes instead of layered. The point here is that there's no need to fanatically follow my recipe, feel free to play around, to make it your own!
graphic button small size size 10 MY NEXT ROSOLLI SALAD I'll include grated or chopped gherkin pickles, I like the idea of this texture and taste contrast.
graphic button small size size 10 MORE ROSOLLI SALAD INSPIRATION These are more "Finnish-style" rosolli salads, first a deconstructed rosolli salad from I CookUEat and a sweet potato and vegan rosolli salad from Scandi Foodie. In addition, I was first inspired to make my own Rosolli Salads (not just once but twice!) when my dear friend Pille from Estonia updated the Russian-style salad called Shuba with smoked salmon instead of the more-typical pickled herring. We tried one version with salmon but like it a little better with just vegetables.
graphic button small size size 10 LESS MAYONNAISE? When I made Rosolli Salad the second time (as pictured in the shallow glass bowl), I wanted to see if you could use less mayonnaise and in fact, used half what's written in the recipe above – this was NOT a good idea, the vegetables really need something to bind them all together, to merge them all into one very tasty salad. I do think that homemade mayonnaise would be great in Rosolli Salad and would also make it "paleo" friendly. If that's the case, you may need less buttermilk, I use it to thin down otherwise gloppy commercial mayonnaise so that it will stretch further.

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Still Hungry?

More Beet Salads for Beet Lovers

~ How to Make a Roasted Beet Salad ~
~ Beet Salad with Sumac, Yogurt & Pita ~
~ Twice-Roasted Beets with Red Grapes, Cherries, Blueberries & Avocado Feta Cream ~
~ more beet recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture

~ Beet Röesti with Rosemary ~
~ Borscht Beets with Sour Cream ~
~ Refrigerator Pickled Beets ~
~ more beet recipes ~
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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.