Russian salad, also known as Olivier salad, is a popular dish in many parts of the world, especially in Russia and other Eastern European countries. It is a versatile dish that can be served as a side dish, main course, or appetizer.
It is typically made with boiled potatoes, carrots, and peas, as well as diced ham or chicken, hard-boiled eggs, and pickles. It is dressed with a mayonnaise-based sauce.
History of Russian Salad
Russian salad was invented in the late 19th century by Lucien Olivier, a Belgian chef who worked at a famous restaurant in Moscow. The original recipe was quite different from the delicious salad that we know today. Olivier’s salad contained ingredients such as grouse, capers, and caviar. However, over time, the recipe was simplified and adapted to use more readily available ingredients.
Russian salad is a popular dish for many occasions, including parties, potlucks, and holidays. It is also a popular dish to serve at picnics and barbecues. It can be eaten on its own or served with bread or crackers. It can also be used as a filling for sandwiches or wraps.
What Makes the Russian Salad Special?
The Russian salad is made with:
- Potatoes: These humble spuds serve as the salad’s sturdy foundation. Boiled until tender, they offer a comforting, earthy flavor and a satisfyingly starchy texture. They’re great at soaking up the other flavors in the mix, giving the salad its heartiness.
- Carrots: These vibrant orange veggies bring a delightful sweetness and a satisfying crunch to the salad. They balance out the potatoes’ starchiness with their natural freshness and add a burst of color to the mix.
- Frozen Peas: These little green gems contribute a delightful burst of sweetness and a lovely pop of color. They maintain a slight crispness even after being thawed, giving the salad a playful texture.
- Ham or Chicken: Whether you opt for the smoky saltiness of ham or the more subtle flavors of chicken, these proteins provide a savory depth to the salad. They also offer an additional layer of texture and heartiness, making each bite more fulfilling.
- Hard-Boiled Eggs: These creamy eggs add richness and a delightful contrast to the other ingredients. They bring a soft and slightly crumbly texture while offering a boost of protein to the dish.
- Pickles: Tangy and crisp, pickles introduce a delightful contrast in flavor and texture. They cut through the richness of the other ingredients with their sourness, adding a refreshing note to the mix.
- Mayonnaise: This creamy condiment serves as the binding agent for the salad, bringing everything together. Its richness and smoothness coat each ingredient, ensuring a harmonious blend of flavors.
- Dijon Mustard: Adding a layer of complexity, Dijon mustard brings a tangy, slightly spicy kick to the dressing. It enhances the overall flavor profile by offering a pleasant contrast to the creamy elements.
Together, these ingredients create a delightful harmony of flavors and textures in the Russian salad, making it a satisfying and flavorful dish that appeals to various taste preferences.
Russian Salad Recipe
- 2 potatoes peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
- 2 carrots peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
- 1/2 cucumber peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 cup (35 g) frozen green peas
- 1/4 cup (45 g) chopped red onion
- 1/4 cup (195 g) chopped dill
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- In a large pot of boiling water, cook the potatoes and carrots until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly.
- In a medium bowl, combine the potatoes, carrots, cucumber, peas, onion, and dill.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
- Serve immediately or chill for later.
- For a creamier salad, use full-fat mayonnaise. For a lighter version, use Greek yogurt or light mayonnaise.
- If you don’t have ham or chicken, you can use another type of cooked meat, such as turkey or beef.
- You can also add other vegetables to your salad, such as cucumber, celery, or bell pepper.
- To make your salad ahead of time, simply assemble the salad and then refrigerate it for up to 24 hours.
- For a more flavorful salad, add 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder or a minced garlic clove to the dressing.
- If you don’t have dill, you can use another fresh herb, such as parsley or chives.
- To make the salad ahead of time, assemble the salad without the dressing and refrigerate for up to 2 days. When ready to serve, add the dressing and toss to combine.
What is the difference between Russian Salad and Olivier Salad?
Russian salad and Olivier salad are essentially the same dish. The name “Olivier salad” is more commonly used in Russia and other Eastern European countries, while the name “Russian salad” is more commonly used in other parts of the world.
What is the best type of mayonnaise to use for Russian salad?
The best type of mayonnaise to use for Russian salad is a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer to use a full-fat mayonnaise for a richer flavor, while others prefer to use a light mayonnaise or Greek yogurt for a healthier option.
Can I make Russian salad without mayonnaise?
Yes, you can make Russian salad without mayonnaise. One option is to use Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise. Another option is to make your own mayonnaise substitute by combining equal parts olive oil and lemon juice. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
Russian salad is a delicious and versatile dish that is perfect for many occasions. It is easy to make and can be customized to your liking. So next time you are looking for a side dish, main course, or appetizer, try making Russian salad. You won’t be disappointed!
Speaking of salads, we have another delicious salad recipe for you to try. Take a look at our creamy Tuna Salad Recipe for a healthy lunch.