After learning how to cook a pot of rice and folding up dumplings, my mom gave me the task of making potato salad for our family. It wasn’t a boiled potato, pickles and mayo affair. It was Salade Russe, a magenta combination of beets, potato, carrot, egg, and onion seasoned with a vinaigrette. The Russian-French preparation is part of the Vietnamese repertoire, a tasty remnant of the country’s colonial past.
While I still make salade Russe nowadays, it takes a little planning because I roast the beets to concentrate their flavor. Plus, the salad needs to thoroughly chill to taste extra good. When I make the potato salad of my youth, I follow my recipe on page 186 of Into the Vietnamese Kitchen.
When I’m with my husband walking to the store and we decide to make potato salad for a dinner of grilled meat, I take a simplified route. What you see here and the recipe below is what I made earlier this week. No beets were involved. We had the potato salad with grilled ribs and a green salad.