Halgrimson: Herring salad a special treatMany years ago, I was invited to the home of Chris and Virginia Jensen for a New Year’s supper. The Jensens were friends of my parents, but this gathering was for David, one of the three Jensen sons, who was home for the holidays with his wife, and it was just young friends of the Jensens.
By: Andrea Hunter Halgrimson, INFORUM
Many years ago, I was invited to the home of Chris and Virginia Jensen for a New Year’s supper.
The Jensens were friends of my parents, but this gathering was for David, one of the three Jensen sons, who was home for the holidays with his wife, and it was just young friends of the Jensens.
Chris was chairman of the animal science department at North Dakota State University and oversaw the dairy that the college operated, where the best ice cream I have ever eaten was made. Albert Jurjans was in charge of making the ice cream.
Virginia taught music at Hawthorn school in Fargo and played in the F-M Symphony. And she was a superb cook. And she and Chris always made marzipan at Christmas to pass out among their friends.
At our supper that evening, Virginia had made a herring salad with beets. It is called Sildesalat. The recipe comes from Scandinavia, and Chris was born in Denmark.
The salad has a faint pink cast, and the contrast between the slightly sweet beets and the salty herring, along with the sour cream, is divine.
Herring was always on the table at our house during the holidays. We’d go to West Fargo to the Fradet Fish Co. and gather not only herring but other kinds of fish and shellfish.
It’s been almost 10 years since I used this recipe in my column, and I thought it needed another run because it is so tasty.
I don’t have Virginia’s exact recipe, but what follows comes close. And it’s always a special treat.
Herring Salad (Sildesalat)
1 cup pickled herring, cut in slices
1 red onion, chopped
1 tart apple, chopped
1 cup pickled beets, diced
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1½ to 2 cups sour cream
Combine ingredients in a bowl and gently stir so it is thoroughly mixed. The salad will be a rosy color. It may be garnished with hard-cooked eggs. Serve with rye bread or crackers.
This column was written exclusively for The Forum.
Readers can reach Forum Food Columnist Andrea Hunter Halgrimson at email@example.com