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Russian Salad – Olivier / Olivye

This one is a staple of any Russian special occasion and there are countless variations and personal takes on this recipe. The original was the creation of a French chef working in Russia in the 19th century, and has since become definitive “Russian salad.”

This recipe is my mother’s, and of all the ones I’ve tasted (father’s, grandmother’s, grandfather’s, friends’, restaurant’s, store-bought) this is definitely my favorite. While other recipes aren’t necessarily bad, there are several things that make this one great:

  • Finely chopped vegetables and meat so that you get a taste of each in every bite
  • Mayonnaise – substituting sour cream in for mayo completely changes the taste
  • The sour (granny smith) apple – this one ingredient completely changes the taste of this salad

So the recipe is:

Ingredients:

  • 5 medium potatoes – cooked
  • 2 large carrots – cooked
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs
  • 8 oz chopped kosher dill pickles
  • 1 package chicken bologna (other meats can be substituted)
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 can (15oz) can of sweet peas
  • 1 large granny smith apple
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • Salt to taste

Prepare all your ingredients, cook carrots, potatoes and the eggs. Simply wash the poatoes and carrots but do not peel yet. You can cook all three items together, just pull out the eggs after about 10 minutes.

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Once cooked, peel the potatoes and carrots and finely chop all the vegetables and meat. Grate the granny smith apple and start combinging the ingredients in a large bowl. Mix to uniformity.

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Add the mayonnaise and mix thuroughly. Allow the salad to chill for at least half an hour.  Serve as an appetizer or a side.

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Enjoy!

19 Comments

  1. -- says:

    is there anyone who doesn’t feel that the best olivier recipe is their mother’s?

    i’ve yet to meet such a person.

    anyway, i love your site. it’s making me think that maybe i should call my mother.

  2. Greg says:

    Awesome site!

  3. Interesting that you put apple into it. I posted an olivye recipe too thats soo good! I hope you get a chance to check it out. http://www.natashaskitchen.com. Anyway, there are probably hundreds of variations on olivye, but its the best potato salad around!

  4. nathalie, now great gr. mother generation says:

    your salat olivier recipe is good, but if I use meat, it is boiled and cubed chicken breast. Carrots? Only if the salad is vegetarian. Apple? Yes, definitely. Also,two or three branches of celery, cubed small to avoid threads, and YES, DILL, preferably fresh. You are not mentioning that. Decorate prettily Russian way: use a round bowl, place a red radish or an olive in the centre, use about 8 rounds of hard boiled egg to make a circle close to the edge of the bowl. Some dill here and there for greenery, be creative . Looks are important, so are the TRADITIONAL ingredients and the resulting good taste, ( I do use some yohurt with my margarine.) Best wishes, your site seems good. Nathalie.

  5. Olia says:

    wow you make it with an apple? I will definitely try next time i make it! thanks!

  6. Liza says:

    My mother put apple in her salad olivier too. I like your recipe–it reminds me of my Mother’s recipe. I am trying to recreate her salad. She passed away a year ago and this is one recipe, I wish I had written down. Everyone: Write down your mother’s and grandmothers’ recipes. You and your children will never regret it!

  7. Perry says:

    This is a popular dish in Iran as well. My parents and their friends often serve it, though it is by no means a staple. I tend to see it more often when the weather is warm and there are no variations. It’s always with mayonnaise, never with sour cream; never any apple or carrots; never with sausage, always with chicken. My mom often makes it to get rid of leftover roasted chicken. Always finely chopped; always with chicken, skinned potatoes or any variety, mayonnaise, peas and chopped pickles. I haven’t encountered anyone who doesn’t love it.

  8. […] It'll probably freak non-Russians out a little, but really, it's just potato salad if it was jacked up on more veggies, mayo, and the aforementioned bologna. Looks foul, tastes incredible. Recipe here. […]

  9. […] It’ll probably freak non-Russians out a little, but really, it’s just potato salad if it was jacked up on more veggies, mayo, and the aforementioned bologna. Looks foul, tastes incredible. Recipe here. […]

  10. […] It’ll probably freak non-Russians out a little, but really, it’s just potato salad if it was jacked up on more veggies, mayo, and the aforementioned bologna. Looks foul, tastes incredible. Recipe here. […]

  11. […] It'll probably freak non-Russians out a little, but really, it's just potato salad if it was jacked up on more veggies, mayo, and the aforementioned bologna. Looks foul, tastes incredible. Recipe here. […]

  12. […] It’ll probably freak non-Russians out a little, but really, it’s just potato salad if it was jacked up on more veggies, mayo, and the aforementioned bologna. Looks foul, tastes incredible. Recipe here. […]

  13. Fatima says:

    This recipe is the closest to my mothers Russian Salad I’ve seen! It’s my favourite – I think the only difference is she adds some French mustard to the dressing with mayonnaise and sour cream. The green apple makes it perfect! YUM :)

  14. […] Russian Olivier Salad – (shown above, left) This recipe comes from a blog called Everyday Russian Food. This classic salad is a mish-mosh of so many tasty ingredients, such as apples, potatoes, eggs, mayo, bologna, pickles, onions, and more. […]

  15. anna says:

    We always make it with sour cream (in addition to or instead of mayo) and never put carrots, apples or onions. Tastes heavenly.

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