Herring and apple salad recipe

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Northern Germany borders both the Baltic Sea and the North Sea and has historically used herring in a great variety of dishes. This salad is a common example of one of the herring and sour cream combinations found in German cuisine.

  • Yield: 10 portions (7–8 ounces/portion)


For Soaking the Herring
  • 1.5 lbs Preserved Matjes Herring Fillets
  • 2 cups Buttermilk
For Making the Dressing
  • 10 oz Sour Cream
  • 1 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar
  • 3 oz Sour Pickle, diced small
  • 1 Tbsp Spicy Mustard
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Dill, minced
  • 3 oz Red Onion, minced
  • 1 lb Tart Apples (such as Granny Smith), peeled and diced medium
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • Black Pepper and Salt, to taste
For Assembling the Salad
  • 4 oz Red Onion, shaved paper-thin
  • 1 lb Yukon Gold Potatoes, cooked, cooled, peeled, and cut ¼ inch thick Dressing, Herring fillets, drained and rinsed Fresh Dill and Lemon for Garnish
How to Make It
  1. Cover the herring fillets with the buttermilk in a nonreactive container and place in the refrigerator to sit overnight (or for at least 8 hours).
  2. Once it has sat for long enough, remove the herring fillets from the buttermilk and rinse them carefully with cold water. Set aside for assembly.
  3. For Making the Dressing
  4. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, and mix well to combine.
  5. Test the seasoning and adjust, if necessary.
  6. For Assembling the Salad
  7. Toss the shaved onions and potatoes with ¾ of the dressing in a mixing bowl, and place about 5 oz of the dressed potato/onion mixture on the salad plate.
  8. On top of the dressed mixture on the plate, place a 2–3-ounce piece of herring fillet; drizzle some of the dressing over the fillet.
  9. Garnish with lemon and dill, and serve.

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