Cut the leaves off the beets. Peel the carrots and cut in half. Put the beets, carrots and potatoes in the same pan and start cooking them in cold water.
When the pan comes to a boil, turn the heat down to medium. In about 15 minutes the potatoes and carrots will be done, so take them out of the pan. Peel the potatoes.
Boil the beets for another 10 minutes or so (until a bamboo skewer goes through them easily). Take them out of the pan, cut off the tough parts on the top and bottom, and peel.
Either grate or roughly chop up the potatoes, carrots and beets. Finely chop the red onion, hard boiled egg and dill too.
Layer half the red onion, potato, carrot and beets in a bowl in order. (The photo shows the carrot layer.)
Spread half the mayonnaise evenly on top of the beet layer. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper.
Repeat Steps 5 and 6, and finish by decorating the top with hard boiled egg and dill. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours (overnight if possible).
Serve the salad in the bowl, or slice as shown and serve.
Story Behind this Recipe
This Russian home-style dish was served when I visited a Russian friend. Apparently the original version includes smoked herring (it's called"selyodka pod shuba" (herring in fur coats), but I left the herring out of this recipe.
You can use canned beets (in which case just skip ahead to Step 4 in the recipe). The cooking time for the vegetables will vary depending on how they are cut, so I recommend practicing a little in order to cook them up uniformly.