While cycling to work, preparing for the love my salad session with my colleagues, I was contemplating the time of the year and the great seasonal products the Netherlands has to offer. Of course asparagus is the most obvious choice in June for a seasonal salad, but because it is too obivious I choose to nominate a salad with fresh herrings. My colleagues all said "Yes!" The Dutch eat herring almost raw - a bit like sushi with just some onions. Maybe not known to the rest of the world but certainly world famous in the Netherlands.
Boil separately the potatoes and beetroot (you can do this a day ahead of time) When cooled peel them and dice into 1cm cubes
Wash and lighlty salt the herring fillets
Wash and roughly shred the iceberg lettuce
Whisk together the sour cream and Dijon mustard
In a bowl, mix the beetroot, potato, onions, capers with the sour cream mixture.
On a serving platter - place a layer (or bed) of iceberg lettuce and spoon the mixture evenly over the leaves. Garnish with the pickled gherkins and fresh dill.
Serve the herring fillets on the side and enjoy the combination together.
Tips from the author
Normally on the 8th of June each year, the Dutch have "vlaggetjesdag" which means pennant or flag day. It's a day where the fishing boats in the village are decorated in flags and where their compassess are calibrated for the annual fishing trip to catch the first herrings of the season. Nowadays the old fashioned fishing boats are no longer in use and the day is used to celebrate and sell the first shipments of herring. The first lot to be sold traditionally has 44 herrings and is auctioned to the highest bidder with the money going to charity. In 2013 the price paid was 95,000 Euros!!
Recipe and story shared by Rob Hillhorst.