Recipe From Russia: Simple Olivier! (The Russian Potato Salad)

Windows to Russia!
Since Summer is here and us Americans think of potato salad. In Russia, the potato salad is a winter favorite and a summer favorite. The Olivier is a must have at the Russian New Years.

That means that there are only 500,000,000 recipes called Olivier, Salad Olivier, Russian Salad or Sour Russian Potato Salad.

Rumor has it that a French Chef named M. Olivier first served it in Moscow around 1860? Hence the name “Olivier Salad”

So today lets make a delicious potato salad that I promise you will find a variation at every special occasion in Russia…

The Olivier:

Ingredients to gather up:
* 5 to 6 average-size potatoes
* 3 nice fat salt cucumbers (Link)
* 1 good size carrot or 2 smaller
* 1 can of green peas or a cup or more of fresh peas (I do not cook the peas but some insist that you must. Your choice)
* 4 hard boiled medium eggs
* 1 fresh medium onion
* 1 big chicken breast or ham
* Salt, pepper, (to taste – but remember the salt cucumbers are salty)
* lots of mayonnaise
* fresh dill (diced and added to top of salad as garnishment when done)

I toss in the same pot full of medium boiling water: the potatoes with skin on, the carrots with the skin on and the eggs with shell on. 🙂

After 10 minutes of boiling remove the eggs carefully with tongs or a slotted spoon. Run cold water over eggs to cool before peeling.

Then test the carrots with a thin knife and if the knife inserts easy into the body of the carrot, then they are done. Remove carrots before they are over cooked.

Let potatoes finish cooking while the eggs and carrots cool. The potatoes are done when by using the same technique as for the carrots. Insert knife and it should easily slide into the potato. Any resistance then the potato needs a few more minutes. Do not over cook.

Set aside and let cooked veggies cool before using.

Next lets prepare the Chicken: (Ham just needs to be diced up) So lets dice the chicken breast up and toss in a lightly oiled skillet at medium temperature. Cook until all pieces have turned white through the middle. The smaller you dice the quicker it cooks. (Let cool before using.)

*Yes you can oven bake, grill, roasted left over cooked chicken for this. What ever suits your fancy. (KFC pulled off the bone and diced is fantastic.)


First peel the potatoes, carrots and eggs! Then dice every ingredient (except peas) into small cubes, (Hint: Dice everything pea size and when dicing salt cucumbers and let the salt cucumbers drain for a few minutes to get rid of excess liquid that will water the salad down.) add pepper, salt (?), and plenty of real mayonnaise. (not salad dressing)

Throw (gently) into a big mixing bowl: The diced potatoes, diced carrots, diced raw onion, diced eggs, green peas, diced drained salt cucumbers, diced chicken breast or diced ham, salt ?, pepper to taste and then dump some mayo – little more – common just a little more.

Mix well. If too dry add more mayo… See I thought it needed more mayo!

Then as a finishing touch sprinkle diced fresh dill or other grasses over top the salad.

Let sit for at least an hour in the icebox before eating.

Lets eat! Yummy…

Notes: This salad is great the next day as a left over. A good smoked ham makes this salad have a whole different meaning. I question the salt because salt pickles are salty. If you use regular dill pickles then you may want to salt the recipe. I like to sprinkle paprika all over the top also.

Windows to Russia!
comments always welcome.

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