Intentional food (/inˈten(t)SH(ə)n(ə)l/) (/FŌŌD/): food created with intent and a purpose. Be it to evoke a memory or continue a tradition, intentional food is synonymous with culture, memories, and warm fuzzy feelings. Wow, that was very phyllosophical (get it? Phyllo?) of me. Anyway, back in high school Hana and I, along with 7 other good friends, were selected to be student ambassadors to Volgograd, Russia. We were each paired with a Russian student and lived with that student’s family for two weeks and spent a third week exploring Moscow and St. Petersburg. It was an experience of a lifetime. We forged lifetime friendships with our Russians, but the one thing I still have to keep me close to those people and memories is food, duhh. One of my coping mechanisms for missing Russia is making this intentional dish that my host mom would make because she knew I’d eat the whole darn thing.
It’s pronounced vina-gree-ét and easiest described as a Russian potato salad. Every family puts their own twist on this dish. You can add any ingredients (i.e. peas, carrots, & sauerkraut) your taste buds see fit. I’m a tangy vinegar person and this dish hits the spot when I’m craving something savory. It’s simple to make and if beets intimidate you, they shouldn’t. Read this post on prepping beets to get comfortable. Plus side to bringing this dish to a potluck: it will unite meat eaters, vegetarians, and even Vegans!
Here’s how I do Vinegrét:
1. Prep beets (Peel, quarter, boil)
2. Peel and cook potatoes
**No, your eyes do not deceive you. Yes, this is a PotatoExpress. And yes, it can be found in the As Seen on TV aisle. Fact 1: I will never bake a potato ever again after using this thing. I microwave the potatoes for 3 minutes and they’re done! Fact 2: I’ll be the one laughing (while eating fresh potato salad & corn on the cob) when summer comes along and it’s too hot to boil potatoes or fresh corn.**
3. While potatoes and beets cook, chop onion and pickles. Set Aside
4. Chop potatoes and set aside
5. Chop beets and put into large dish
6. Add vinegar and EVOO
7. Toss and Enjoy!
Hoping this becomes one of those intentional dishes you can continue to enjoy!
3 medium beets peeled, cooked
3 Small potatoes, peeled, cooked
4 Kosher Dill Pickles, chopped
1 Small red onion, chopped
2 Tbsp EVOO
3 Tbsp Vinegar (I prefer Apple Cider or White balsamic)
S&P to taste
Prepare beets by trimming stem and butt, peeling, quartering, and boiling them. As the beets are boiling, peel and cook potatoes. While the potatoes cook, chop one small onion and chop ~ 4 spears of kosher dill pickles. Set aside in small bowl. Once beets are done, strain and chop. Set aside beets. Then chop potatoes and set aside. Mix all ingredients together in large bowl. Add oil, vinegar and toss salad. Add salt and pepper to taste.