Lithuanian Herring Salad With Onion and Tomato (Silke Su Pomidor

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Total Time
45mins
Prep 20 mins
Cook 25 mins

I remember Mother sitting around the kitchen table with her friends, skinning and gutting herring, to make this appetizer salad for New Years and other big community events. I am now able to buy herring fillets, which simplifies the prep quite a bit. Servings is a wild guess - I eat this with abandon, so be advised. Prep time does not include soaking or refrigeration.

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. You want to use salt brined herring fillets - I found mine at a Polish deli, sitting all ready to use in a big barrel.
  2. Place the herrings in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Refrigerate for about 24 hours, changing the water two to four times.
  3. Drain off the water and slice the fillets into 1/4 to 1/2 inch sized pieces.
  4. Thinly slice the onions.
  5. Heat oil in a large skillet; add the onions and cook until tender, but not browned. I often add 1/2 cup or so of water to help soften the onion without letting it brown.
  6. Stir in the tomato sauce and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes or so, stirring and scraping down the sides of the pan several times. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  7. Take a 1 quart glass or ceramic bowl. Remove bay leaves from the sauce. Layer the herring and sauce in it, starting and ending with the sauce.
  8. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to permit the flavors to meld.
  9. Serve with a good, sturdy rye bread. If you are in the Chicago area, try Racine Bakery's Lithuanian Rye. Some folks like to eat this with hot, boiled potatoes.