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Olivier - Russian Salad

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Most of the potato salads served in American Restaurants under the name "Russian Salad", are simplified variations of this 20th century Russian classic. In Russia this salad is most commonly called Olivier Salad, and no self-respecting Russian feast can go without it. Where I come from, we call it simply the Winter Salad. Indeed, every ingredient was accessible even during the scanty Soviet winters.
Satisfying, rich, abounding in taste and texture, this is a time-tested favorite. Trust me, your guests will love it and ask for a second helping, and maybe even third... If that doesn't scare you, read on.

What you need:
1.5 cups boiled potatoes (~1can), cut in cubes
1 cup boiled carrots (~1 can), cut in cubes
1.5 cups canned peas (~1.5 cans)
3/4 cup pickles, chopped in cubes (e.g. kosher dill pickles)
1/2 pound bologna, cut in cubes
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 jumbo hard-boiled eggs, cut in cubes
1/2 sour green apple, peeled and cut in cubes (e.g. granny smith)
3+ Tbsp mayonnaise

How to do it:
Traditionally, potatoes and carrots are boiled at home. To do this, place unpeeled potatoes and unpeeled carrots in a pot filled with water and boil until both are easily pierced with a knife (takes up to 1 hour, but likely less). Drain the water, let the vegetables cool, and then skin them with a knife. If loath to do this yourself, you can buy canned potatoes and canned carrots. These work almost as well.
Cut potatoes, carrots and bologna into approximately 1/4" cubes. Apples, eggs and pickles should be cut a little bit smaller, and onions should be finely chopped. Canned peas should be drained. To add in some fresh color, you can substitute scallions for some (but not all) of the onion.
That's it. Serve confidently and enjoy!


Anonymous said...

I grew up eating this salad too, the difference is that we didn't use CARROTS, GREEN APPLES and MAYONAISE. Instead of mayo use sourcream and instead of bologna use smoked ham.

Tim said...

I love most of the variations of this salad. I'm making it probably this weekend with fresh crayfish and cubed brisket instead of bologna. And homemade mayo and fresh peas ...

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