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Benvenuti al Tutti!

Welcome to Luigi's Tastes of Italy

This blog is my small dedication to Italian cooking, and is abolutely 100% free of pretentiousness, complicated ingredients, or any effort to present Italian cuisine as anything other than it really is, very simple.

Hope you enjoy reading my posts and maybe trying out some of the recipes.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Russian Salad Olivier (Russian Winter Salad)

For a change, I thought I would blog about International cuisine again, and share a very nice simple salad I discovered quite recently.

This interesting salad, was reportedly first created by a Moscow based French Chef, in the mid 19th century.

For one reason or another it achieved notoriety, and has been adopted and adapted as a national favourite. Now it is one of the most well known and traditional of all the Russian winter salads, typically consumed on New Years Eve throughout Russia.

I first encountered this salad, rather bizarrely when on holiday in Malta, as the only restaurant where we could eat something half decent, happened to be Russian. So we had a an Italian from the UK, eating Russian food, in Malta. A very international affair. I couldn't speak Russian, they couldn't speak much English, or Italian, so we communicated via grunts, and finger pointing and this salad was amongst the delicious servings, I ended up with.

I almost immediately fell in love with it, and is now something we make a few times a year, and is excellent for spring or fall, as it is quite a hearty dish. We usually have it as an accompaniment to cold cut meats, but it could be made more substantial by throwing in some Farfalle pasta, and turning it into a meal. Although I am sure Russians would not approve of Pasta being thrown into their salad.

Essentially this salad is a combination of diced sausage (I like smoked), diced boiled potatoes, diced gherkin pickle, green peas (tinned are best) and diced hard boiled eggs. All of this is then bound together with a generous quantity of mayonnaise, served with a garnish of parsley, and slices of Gherkin.

Saying that though, I am aware there are variants which call for chicken breast in lieu of sausage, and black olives in lieu of slices of Gherkin, I haven't tried these, but I am sure they are equally delicious.

(serves 4)

2 medium sized potatoes, cooked in skins, peeled, then diced
3 medium sized gherkins diced
4 medium sized eggs, hard-boiled
200g cooked sausage, diced, (alternatively use chicken)
200g cooked peas, (tinned are excellent for this salad)
4-5 tablespoons of mayonnaise.


-This really could not be easier, you basically just combine all of the ingredients together until well mixed, and then add the mayonnaise, and repeat. Taking care not to mash the eggs around to much.


As can be seen below (in the almost half decent photo this time).

I just served this salad with a garnish of slices of Gherkin, and a sprig of Parsley (to eat, not just decorate). Alternatively you could scatter over diced scallion, or just black olives, or even a quartered egg.


Joanne said...

I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall during all of this grunting and pointing. Sounds like fun :P

The salad looks delicious!

Micaela said...

dev'essere gustosissima! la proverò senza dubbio!

Ana Powell said...

Hi Luigi
Nice to be acquainted, many thanks for your visit.
Your grunts, and finger pointing have worked wonders, an excellent salad.
Wishing you a great week x

Geillis said...

Adoro l'insalata russa, quella originale, diversa da quella in scatola..bisogna solo munirsi di pazienza ed una buona ricetta, questa mi pare perfetta

ARUNA said...

The Salad recipe sounds delicious, will give it a try!

Mari said...

Grunting and pointing sounds like a typical day for me! hahaha

That salad looks delish, you can't go wrong with mayo!

how is the baby?????

Bridgett said...

I would love to try this recipe as it sounds perfect.

Carla and Michael said...

That is a wonderful salad. Its funny we just had a version of potato salad on Sunday evening. Thanks for following.

knk said...

nice post i like it looks great

Anonymous said...

great salad love it it it have to try in home

Tania said...

A very rich salad and it's easy to make, well done!

Kim said...

I think this salad sounds fantastic! Love the combination and I have no problems with a hefty dose of mayo here and there:D

Kim said...

I think this salad sounds fantastic! Love the combination and I have no problems with a hefty dose of mayo here and there:D

3 hungry tummies said...

My friends mentioned the not very exciting food scene in Malta too. this dish is new to me, would like to try it one day!

Erica said...

I love Russian salad!!!In Colombia we have a similar recipe.

sanjeet said...

finger pointing have worked wonders, an excellent salad.
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Mary said...

Your recipe sounds near perfect. I am new to your blog but really love what I've found here. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

thiternik said...

Luigi, this salad is one of my favs, but the original recipe calls for boil-cooked beef fillet instead of sausage and better mix half mayonnaise- half sour cream.

then you will be more satisfied - I guarantee :) I was born in Soviet Union ;)

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