Fur Coat is one of my the most favorite winter salads. In my mind, winter holidays are not complete without it.
Traditionally, this salad is made with diced salted herring covered with layers of diced boiled potatoes, carrots, and beet roots. Chopped onions or scallions add some sharpness, and layers of mayonnaise round everything up. This salad has a well balanced combination of salty, sweet, earthy, and pungent flavors. Some recipes include diced green apples, adding a sour note and making the taste of every bite even more complex.
I constantly look for different ways to make the layers of this salad visually appealing. When all the vegetables are cooked to perfection and diced uniformly, the best approach is to layer this salad individually portioned.
Last year, I served it using potato skins as a base. It was one of successful ideas in terms of playing with food and with words — a tribute to my father and brother, military officers. Russian name for potatoes cooked with skin on is “в мундирах”, or “dressed in military jacket”. Thus, potato skin was symbolic and functional, holding all the layers perfectly well and making this appetizer a true finger food.
This year I experimented with thinly sliced potatoes, carrots, and young beets. The rest of ingredients — salted herring, eggs, onions, and mayo — were incorporated into binding layers.