Olivier Salad or Russian Potato Salad: what exactly is this salad?…
Russian salad (also named Olivier salad) is a simple potato based salad with carrots, green peas and dill pickles, bonded together with a mayonnaise based dressing.
It was invented in the 18th century by Lucien Olivier for a Moscow restaurant.
Over the the centuries, all regions of Eastern Europe have developed their own variations.
Of course, Romanians have their own. Actually, several versions of it.
It’s a very popular salad and always served on important holidays, birthday celebrations or any major people’s get together events.
One Romanian variation uses beef meat and it’s called Beef Salad (Salata Boeuf) but also uses other meats (like pork, or chicken) and it’s consistent, delicious and nutritious.
My Twist On Russian Olivier Salad
I wasn’t much of a fan of this salad growing up, ’cause I don’t like peas that much.
Until one day I was visiting a neighbor and she give me to taste her version without peas. The taste was delicious and somehow different.
“What else is different about this recipe?” I asked… “Oh, I put an apple in it”, she said. From that day on, that’s the only way I make this salad.
So, my delicious twist of Russian salad leaves the peas out and uses apples instead.
At least delicious for me. I would eat this salad every day and I will not get enough.
I like it THAT much. 🙂
🥕 Olivier Salad Ingredients
Ingredients I used for this salad are as follows:
- Red skin potatoes
- Chicken breast
- Dill pickles
- Homemade mayo
- (Sweet) mustard
- 1-2 Apples
- Salt and pepper
🥗 How To Make Russian Olivier Salad
Well, I will not say this is simple. It will take some extra time and effort, but boy… this Russian potato salad it’s all worth it!
I always make a large batch because it never lasts long, no matter how much I make. 🙂
Also, it maintains well in the fridge for about 3-4 days. But a delicious salad like this, never gets to see 4 days.
It’s best if you could get some help in the kitchen for the chopping procedure, ’cause that’s when you’ll start losing your patience!
Just kidding. 🙂 Anyway, keep in mind that it will take some time from start to finish. Better cook it in week-ends and make lots of it to be time well spent.
Some people chop the potatoes and veggies and boil them already chopped. I don’t do that, because most of their taste will be lost in the boiling water.
Sure, that water can be saved and reused, but the way we do this salad is boiling the potatoes skin on and peel and chop them afterwards.
1. Start boiling
Wash the potatoes and put them (skin on) to boil in a large pot with cold, salted water. Cook until fork tender.
Drain the water and let them cool off before peeling.
In another pot, do the same with the chicken breast. Skin the foam that is formed from the boiling meat.
After skimming 3-4 times, the foam will stop forming. That’s the time to add your washed & peeled carrots to cook together with the meat.
Cover them and cook on medium-low heat until fork tender.
It will take anywhere around 40 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the meat. You can save the liquid for soups or risotto, it’s full of taste.
Remove the carrots and the meat and let them cool a little.
2. Start chopping
Take a large enough bawl and place it at hand. That’s where you’ll put all chopped ingredients.
Start your chopping with the meat, as soon as you can handle it because it will dry rapidly. All the chopping in this salad needs to be really fine, small cubes.
This is when you’ll need to make the extra effort and will take the extra time. Trust me, it will all be worth it!
Next in line are the carrots and the potatoes. They will be cooled enough for you to peel and handle them.
There’s no problem if they are still warm. The smell around them will motivate you to work faster, so you can indulge in this delish – sooner rather than later.
The next move is to start chopping the dill pickles. Remove the extra moisture from the pickles, squeezing them well.
Finally, add the chopped apple/apples.
3. Season & add your dressing
Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Add the mustard and mayo and start blending all together until everything is well mixed.
Now it’s finally ready to be served and enjoyed.
This salad is a real delight and even more delicious with beef or pork.
Try all variants to see what you like best. I like it most with pork. And please, use your own homemade mayo, see my fail-proof mayonnaise recipe.
🍽️ Decorate & Serve The Olivier Salad
Finally, you can serve it from the bawl, or shape it in different forms covered with a thin layer of mayo and decorate according to your creativity and imagination.
This Russian potato salad can be molded and shaped in many forms. Just play with different forms and decorations.
You can really make a piece of art and a visual delight.
Use boiled eggs, carrots, pickles, bell peppers, olives, fresh herbs… whatever you have at hand.
Doesn’t mine looks mouth watering? 🙂
Keep it in the fridge up to 4 days. Make the recipe it and if you like it, come back and leave a comment.
I hope that you’ll enjoy this Russian potato salad as much as I do.
Other delicious recipes to try:
- Easy Cheesy Mashed potatoes
- Try this delicious Romanian Sour Cream Garlic Chicken Soup (Radauteana)
- Everybody loves potato salads! To variate, try this Healthy Potato Salad With Eggs Recipe version from time to time
Rate this recipe
Cast your stars below
Russian Olivier Salad
- 3.3 lbs (1.5 Kg) red skin potatoes
- 1.8 lbs (800 g) chicken breast / beef / pork
- 1.5 lbs (700 g) carrots
- 6 dill pickles
- 10.5 oz (300 g) mayonnaise (preferably homemade)
- 5-6 tbsp sweet mustard
- 1-2 apples
- salt and pepper to taste
- Clean and wash the potatoes. Put them to boil in a large pot with cold salted water. Let them cook until fork tender. In another pot, put the meat also in cold water and bring it to a boil. Skim the foam 3-4 times until it's no longer formed. Add salt and the peeled and washed carrots to cook with the meat. Let it simmer until the chicken breast is cooked trough. When potatoes are cooked, drain the water and let them cool off. Do the same with the meat and carrots, but keep the nutritious liquid to further use it for a delicious soup or a risotto. Let them cool off a little too.
- Start the fine chopping. Into a large bawl put the chopped meat, carrots, potatoes and dill pickles. To finish, chop the apple/s too and season with salt and black pepper to your liking. Add the mayonnaise and the mustard and mix everything together with a large spoon until all is well blended.
- Serve it from the bawl or model different forms and shapes onto plates and decorate according to your inspiration. Bon appetite!