Beetroot Salad with Herring and Ham



Full moon in the North Woods from a couple of weeks ago…back when we were blanked by that white stuff called snow.  It’s been an interesting time of skiing in alternating slush-ice-slush-ice-rain conditions during these tropical heat waves, what can you do but enjoy the moment while quietly mourning the early loss of winter.

Last week we were invited to a dawn ‘crust ski‘ on a nearby lake (there’s always a nearby lake in Wisconsin).  Usually a spring venture, people monitor temperatures and wait for the perfect conditions of a freeze after a melt which gives a hard, icy and incredibly fast surface so you can fly nearly anywhere without constraint of trail borders….especially limitless if it’s on a lake.  When the crust is right, the call goes out (at 6 a.m.) and the crust skiers embark. To quote the SkiHaus description of crust skiing, Too much fun cannot be had!”.


Like I said, enjoying whatever there is.







Oh right, this is a food blog!

There is never much time for photos during catering events, my brain is doing all it can to hang onto the details of the event and if I’m lucky one of my people will help document the moments before the storm of activity sweeps us all away.  Or sometimes there are extra servings that hang around for the evening waiting for me to take a photo, like this one.


This beet dish was featured in the Estonian Dinner in September (amazing how many posts came from one dinner!), it’s a traditional salad often served as a first course or a side.  It’s also another recipe based on the cookbook Food and Cooking of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania by Silvena Johen.




Though used in many cuisines it’s especially difficult to imagine a northern or eastern European meal without dill.  One of the few herbs that are hearty enough to survive the cool temperatures but intense sunlight of northern summers, this greenery was commonly used in preserving and flavoring meats, fish, vegetables, cured foods, and liquors.  This is a summer shot from our farmer’s market to remind us of the green season coming up.



Beetroot Salad with Herring and Ham

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30+ minutes to cook the beets and 15 minutes for the eggs

Ahead of time cook the beets, potato and eggs.   

Mix together in a bowl:

1 small Potato, cooked and diced

2 Beets, cooked and diced

1 small Red Onion, minced

2 tart Apples, small diced

2 Gherkins, small diced

2 Pickled Herring, small diced

8 oz Ham, diced

Dill, chopped

Salt and Pepper to taste

Whisk the dressing: 

1/2 cup Sour Cream

1 Tablespoon Vinegar

1 Tablespoon Whole Grain Mustard

1 teaspoon Horseradish, creamed

Serve the salad topped with:

2 Hard Boiled Eggs, peeled and crumbled





Last week a ruffed grouse walked slowly across the ski trail in front of me, allowing me to watch her for quite a while as she meandered back and forth.  I didn’t have a camera then but later these tracks were nearby.  Snow Chicken.

IMG_4294 (1)



“When action grows unprofitable, gather information; when information grows unprofitable, sleep.”


                               Ursula Le Guin





4 thoughts on “Beetroot Salad with Herring and Ham”

  • I hear they changed the Birkie route due tothe weather and, after reading this, wonder ifi t is on lakes. Hope not as so many people, weight, seems likely to breka through. It is indeed a weird world where climate change is so drastic and blind greed rules the bureaucracy. Good luck Saturday. Beet root salad sounds great. I just need to buy a priner to make my own cookbook of the many delightful dishes you provide!

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