The classic Russian salad has knocked me right off my feet! Thanks to its deliciousness, Russian salad has become extremely popular in India and is often found to be offered to guests at wedding parties!
I hardly had the idea that the classic Russian salad is so well-loved in India! When I started looking for the most authentic recipe of the Russian Olivier salad, the popular Russian potato salad, I was surprised to find so many search results popping up from Indian food bloggers! It had me intrigued and made me more determined than ever to try my hands on this classic Russian delicacy! And I can’t thank my stars enough for convincing myself to make this stunning salad at home! Only after trying this on my own I could genuinely understand the sheer love of everyone towards this classic dish! I would urge you to procure all the ingredients, which mostly are kitchen staples, whenever you can and hit this off! You will love me for this!
Now let me elaborate a little on why I ventured out to make Russian salad at home. Apart from being a food blogger and loving to explore various cuisines by making new dishes, this particular recipe or the cuisine to be more specific had an additional motivation. My brother tied the knot last year and we welcomed a lovely Russian girl into our family as my sis-in-law; so naturally with this close connection to Russia, I had to explore more into Russian cuisine and this Olivier salad seemed the right one to start with! This salad has all the elements which we Indians absolutely love to devour and I will talk about each in details later, hence I was sure this Russian salad would be an instant-hit with my family too!
The Russian Olivier salad is a potato salad which is also loaded with other veggies like carrots, green peas and gherkins. We Indians are true potato-lovers which makes it easy for us to fall in love with such creamy potato salads. The best part of this salad is the hard boiled eggs which, when combined with mayo and sour cream, lend the salad the super creamy texture and make it simply irresistible! To take its flavor a level higher, you also have a meat in it which in my case was chicken sausage. The most traditional choice would be smoked ham or smoked/boiled chicken but that can be easily tweaked as per your choice. We loved the addition of chicken sausage into our version of Russian salad; you too can freely take your pick!
While exploring more of Russian cuisine, I got to know that the Russian Olivier salad is the most traditional salad of the cuisine and is a must-have on special occasions. Many prominent Russian food bloggers have even compared this Russian salad as traditional as the Thanksgiving turkey! So you can imagine the emotion of Russians associated with this salad; it’s not just a recipe but a mark of family celebrations. It’s good to have such remarkably classic recipes in your repertoire especially when the ingredients are quite regular pantry staples. This is a soul-satisfying salad full of cooked vegetables and meat which are combined together using a creamy and flavorful dressing. Make sure to whip up a big batch as the best part of Russian salad is that it tastes even better the next day once all the ingredients get a chance to mingle and develop the flavors even further!
The primary vegetable of this salad is potato and it is non-negotiable! The Russian Olivier salad is sort of a potato salad which is then enhanced with cooked carrots, green peas and hard boiled eggs. Don’t go low on eggs; you will need at least 5 hard-boiled eggs. Once chopped, the egg yolks make the salad dressing creamier than even besides adding tons of flavors. This salad also has a note of tartness thanks to the pickled gherkins. The pickled gherkins beautifully balance the flavors of mayo and sour cream and creates an unmatched flavor profile which is unlike anything and yet mind-blowing! In terms of meat, you can add any of your favorite smoked sausages or ham or even grilled & chopped chicken breast will work great here. I used our favorite chicken sausages which proved to be a fantastic option for this salad.
Many Russian salad recipes call for fresh dill leaves; I left it out since I am not too fond of this herb. Feel free to sprinkle freshly chopped dill on top of the salad after mixing everything up if you like its flavor. I love the flavor of scallions especially when it is combined with a creamy potato or egg salad like this one. Also one pro-tip – try to cut all the veggies of about same size. The smallest veggie in the salad being green peas, try cutting potatoes, carrots and eggs to a size similar to a green pea. This will not only help in uniformly mixing all the ingredients, but also make your salad look as good as a restaurant-style centerpiece on your dinner table! The Russian salad is best enjoyed with the favorite grilled meat/steak of yours; hence don’t forget to fire up some steaks along with your Russian salad! Enjoy!
- Potato – 4, large
- Carrot – 3, large
- Eggs – 5, hard-boiled
- Gherkins – 8
- Chicken sausage – 2 cups, chopped
- Green peas – 1 cup
- Spring onion/scallion – 4 stalks
- Mayonnaise – ½ cup
- Sour cream – ½ cup
- Salt to taste
- First step is to boil the potatoes and carrots. You may peel and then boil them or vice versa. I usually cut each potato into half and boil them without peeling. Once boiled, it’s easy to pull the skin off. For carrots, I prefer to peel and then boil them. Feel free to do it the way you are comfortable with; just make sure to add salt into the water while boiling them. Cook them until they turn soft.
- Boil the green peas too in salted boiling water if using fresh peas until they are soft. Drain the water out and set aside.
- Cut the boiled & peeled potatoes and carrots into small pieces, about the size of a green pea. Cut the pickled gherkins too into pea-sized pieces.
- Sauté the chicken sausages in a tablespoon of oil until they turn golden brown. Take them out and cut them into bite-sized pieces too. Chop the hard-boiled eggs into bite-sized pieces.
- Finally, chop the scallions finely, both green and white parts. Finely chop fresh dill too if using.
- Now transfer all the chopped veggies, eggs, sausages, scallions to a large bowl. Bowl should be large enough to hold all the ingredients as well as it should have enough room for mixing after the dressing is added.
- Add the mayonnaise and sour cream to the salad mix. Using two salad spoons, mix all the ingredients thoroughly to evenly coat each piece with the creamy dressing.
- Do a taste test for seasoning at this stage and add salt as per your taste. Give a final mix. You may refrigerate the salad if you are not serving immediately.
- Otherwise, transfer the salad to a serving bowl and enjoy the classic Russian Olivier salad with your friends and family!