Rosolje, Great Grandma Huva Style

Rosolje is a Baltic-Scandinavian beet salad that glows a more lovely shade of fuchsia than any other food. It's a hearty recipe and an uplifting colour for mid-winter meals. My mother always makes rosolje at Christmas time. What results is my family putting it back like crack cocaine. I love it so.

Other Scandinavian types eat this salad year-round as a staple. Don't be afraid of the herring! You can't even tell it's in there.

You can adapt this recipe a number of ways. If you're afraid of sour cream, you could some yogurt to substitute. Lemon juice can add zest. People in Sweden might make a slightly different version than in Estonia. I'm sure every Nordic country around those parts has a version.

This is my great grandmother's recipe.


8 medium beets, cooked
6 medium potatoes, cooked, finely diced
4 eggs, hard boiled, finely diced
4 pickles, finely diced
2 salted herring, desalted, gutted, skinned, finely diced
2 carrots, cooked, finely diced
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 apple, finely diced
3/4 lb. roast beef or other cold cut meat, finely diced
1 large container sour cream
1 small container sour cream
½ cup vinegar
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 ½ tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon mustard

Allow diced components to cool. Mix together adding herring last.

Mix remaining wet ingredients separately to make dressing, adding vinegar last. Add dressing to salad and mix. Refrigerate for several hours before serving.

Like all recipes that are a mixture of many flavours, rosolje gets better with a day or two in the fridge.


  1. Thanks for this. Stumbled upon it on the first page of Google results, as I promised rosolje for a company BBQ tomorrow.

  2. Amazing. What luck! Let me know how it turns out.

  3. I used your recipe and the one here, as reference points. Then I adapted to what I knew of my Vaima's.

    My final ingredient list worked out to:

    12 fresh beets (ranged from two very large ones to several tiny ones)
    6 large white potatoes
    3 apples of varying types
    4 dill pickles
    2 eggs
    2 thick slices of roast beef
    8 small marinated herring fillets
    less than 3 tablespoons of low-fat mayonnaise
    3 cups of 5% sour cream
    a few splashes of cider vinegar

    Originally I used two apples, 2 pickles and no vinegar, but it tasted quite bland. Only had cider vinegar, but it seemed appropriate with the apples in the recipe anyway. It was much better with the additions.

    I only used the marinated herring because I couldn't find the salt kind in time. None at my local Loblaws or Longos, both from where I've bought it from previously. I don't think it was really any worse, though it was a little much prior to chilling overnight.

    I should have either used more roast beef or none at all. Could have used more eggs too. It turned out fine regardless. It's kind of a hard recipe to do wrong.

    It also made twice the quantity I needed, so I have plenty to eat for the next week hah.

  4. We always make a TON when my family does it. We always go through it too. I love it so much.

    I think you're right. If the ratios aren't right, it still tastes good every time. I love it so!!

  5. My next attempt at Esto cooking will have to be pirukad. It's apparently a two-night job. They freeze well at least.

  6. Cool. That's very exciting. Please let me know how they turn out!