Inside Russ & Daughters, behind the glass cases beckoning with smoked salmon, trout roe, and cream cheese, are the cold salads. These salads are sold by the pound and make for a excellent hot weather lunch.
There's an Eggplant Salad Roumanian made with roasted eggplant, red peppers and enough garlic to cut through all that. In my eggplant salad rankings, it comes second only to the eggplant caponata at Otto, and demands the accompaniment of a crusty baguette. Then there's Egg Salad, finely mashed, creamy and flecked with celery and raw onions. The salad is not too heavy on the mayo, just enough to round it out. I always add a pinch of salt. Smoked Salmon Tartare is just as the name would suggest, Russ & Daughter's sublime take on steak tartare with smoked salmon—a quarter pound goes a long way, so you only need a bit of this. The Beet, Apple, and Herring Salad is a fun play on textures and flavors, from the dice of sweet apples to creamy beets and meaty, savory cuts of herring.
For something more substantial, German Potato Salad (pictured above) is generous with the dill, the thinly sliced potatoes speckled with an equal balance of capers, celery, and red onions. There's no need to settle on just one salad; get a half- or quarter-pound of a few different salads to create your own meal. And don't forget a slice of babka or sinful chocolate-covered halvah bar on the way out. If either of those sound too rich, a quarter-pound of rice pudding will do perfectly. You were planning to have dessert, right?