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If there is one traditional dish that makes every Russian smile, it has to be Салат "Оливье" or Salad Olivier in English. Yes, this mayo heavy potato salad is joy in a bowl to the Russian soul. Every family has its own little twist on the recipe, which is passed from generation to generation.

This salad is typically served for New Year’s celebrations, but also makes frequent appearances on birthdays and other holidays. Anytime there is something to celebrate, you can bring out the Olivier!

We’ve tried dozens of recipes over the years. Experimented with lots of techniques, and can safely say that this recipe right here is the Ultimate Traditional Салат "Оливье", that you can bookmark and enjoy with your friends and family and know that this is as good as it gets 😊

We have added some helpful hints throughout if you would like to make some substitutions and included is a demonstration video of the techniques used to assemble this fabulous salad.

So, from our family to yours “Приятного аппетита!”

Салат "Оливье" Ultimate Recipe

Ingredients:

1 pound of ham (or other cooked meat pref. not overly smoked)

3 medium potatoes (Yukon gold works best)

4 medium carrots.

1 can sweet peas

5 hard-boiled eggs

5 medium sized pickles

1 cup mayo

3-4 sprigs of fresh dill

Salt and Pepper (to taste)

 

As you can see, these ingredients are quite common, and are pantry staples for most people, so you shouldn’t have much trouble getting all the things you need.

A few suggestions:

  • Lightly smoked ham works best (too much smoke can over power the salad), but you can also use mortadella, or cooked chicken breast if you prefer.
  • For the potatoes avoid Russets if possible, as they will quickly turn mushy
  • Frozen peas are fine, but the traditional taste and texture does call for the canned variety
  • With all the ingredients, try to use the best quality you can find. Especially the mayonnaise, it really makes a big difference.

 

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, boil potatoes and carrots leaving the skins on. Cook for about 20-25 minutes or until nice and tender (not mushy). Once cooked, drain from water and set aside to cool.
  2. In a small pot add eggs, cover eggs will water and bring to a boil cook. Cook eggs 8-10 minutes until hard-boiled. Once cooked set aside to cool.
  3. After ingredients have cooled to room temperature, peel the skins away from the vegetables using a small sharp knife *note keeping the skins on while cooking is the traditional method and does lend a specific desirable taste that is lost if veggies are peeled prior to cooking.
  4. Cube the potatoes, carrots and meat into small pea sized cubes (see illustration).
  5. Combine everything into a large mixing bowl, mix, then add mayo and mix again to coat everything.
  6. Season with salt, pepper and sugar. Add fresh diced dill, mix.
  7. Garnish with a sprig of fresh dill.

Some Tips and Tricks!

The great thing about Russian and Ukrainian cooking is that there is lots of flexibility with the recipes! The version we present is a very authentic traditional recipe, tried and tested, but feel free to improvise. Some additions that work well in this recipe are using fresh cucumbers as well as the pickles for extra texture. You can also use several types of meats to make this more filling. Scallions and/or finely chopped raw onions bring more flavor and crunch. Enjoy!


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