LifestyleMother-in-law's exceptional addition to vegetable salad: Herring!

Mother-in-law's exceptional addition to vegetable salad: Herring!

Vegetable soup with this addition is a bullseye.
Vegetable soup with this addition is a bullseye.
Images source: © Adobe Stock
12:55 PM EST, November 18, 2023

What's a holiday without a serving of vegetable salad? This classic dish has been gracing Polish tables for many years, featuring in all holidays and ceremonies. While every household has its own unique twist to the recipe, the versatility of vegetables allows for various intriguing additions and subtractions. Case in point - my mother-in-law's fondness for melding traditional vegetable salad with herring. This combination hits the mark every time.

Whether soaked in brine or pickled, herring adds a whole new layer of taste to the vegetable salad. This is my mother-in-law's trick to entice our more particular guests to enjoy their vegetables. In this type of salad, the sweet, salty, and sour flavors blend together seamlessly. I guarantee you'll love this recipe.

The best kind of herring for the salad

Surprisingly, you do have a range of options when it comes to choosing the herring, with your choice dependent on how much time you can dedicate to salad preparation. The quickest and simplest choice would be pickled herring fillets that just need to be sliced and tossed into the salad.

Available in stores are the salted herring, which come gutted and headless, preserved in strong brine. They do, however, require soaking and the removal of skin and spine. Alongside these, you'll find young matjes (matias) herring, skinless and preserved in a less concentrated brine, which also requires pre-soaking. Another lesser-known, yet viable option are uleks - a smaller, fattier version of matias that will also fit perfectly in a salad.

Recipe for a vegetable salad with herring


Marinated rollmop will work well as an addition to vegetable salad.
Marinated rollmop will work well as an addition to vegetable salad.© Pixabay
  • 1.1 pounds of herring fillets (pickled or in oil),
  • 3-4 carrots,
  • 2 parsley roots,
  • 1 small leek,
  • 1 piece of root celery,
  • 1 large apple,
  • 1-2 pickled cucumbers (depending on size),
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs,
  • 1 can of green peas (or 1 cup of cooked fresh or frozen peas),
  • 1 bunch of chives,
  • juice of 1 lemon,
  • about 5 tablespoons of mayonnaise,
  • 1 teaspoon of mustard,
  • salt and pepper.


  1. Rinse the carrot, parsley, and celery, peel them, then boil (excluding the leek) and chop into cubes.
  2. Slice the leek into coins, peel the apple, and cut it into cubes.
  3. Chop peeled, hard-boiled eggs and pickled cucumbers into cubes as well.
  4. Combine all these ingredients, adding drained peas, herring cut into small pieces, mayonnaise, mustard, spices, and lemon juice, then mix everything together. Garnish your salad with chives.
  5. Refrigerate the salad for an hour before serving to allow the flavors to fully blend together.
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