Russian Salad, also known as Olivier Salad has many variants, mine being a vegetarian one. Traditionally, meat is an essential part of Russian Salad.
In restaurants, I’ve had this salad containing fruits like apple and pineapple. I don’t know whether the authentic version has fruits too. We love it with only veggies, no fruits. Somehow, the sweetness of fruits and salty-and-sour dressing of the salad, together doesn’t appeal to our palate. But it’s an interesting addition nevertheless. Russian salad gives an amazing start to a meal with mild yet captivating flavours. It has a thick, creamy texture. Easy to make, rather there’s no preparation..just put together all the ingredients and it’s done..exactly like any other salad. But yes, before u ‘put together’ all the ingredients, make sure the vegetables are cooked/boiled. We do not like our potatoes and cauliflowers raw, do we?!
Whenever I make this salad for just the both of us, before I serve, the quantity reduces to half. Unknowingly, really. Tasting and trying the flavours, I gobble down one piece of veggie at a time 😂(esp the cauliflower and potato bits, yummiest)! Then whatever remains gets served to H, also a salad-lover. It’s our favourite kind of ‘international’ salad. Our very own desi, effortless onion-tomato one with no particular dressing stands on top!
I add celery in my Russian salad. Celery has a sharp and slightly pungent taste and adds zing to the creamy salad. Be careful not to add too much of it because as mentioned, it has a very strong flavour to it.
Chopped Vegetables – Potatoes, Cauliflower, French Beans, Green Peas, Carrots, Celery Stems and leaves – about 200 gms in all.
Mayonnaise – 3 tbsp
Cream – 3 tbsp
Mixed Herbs/Pizza Seasoning (optional)
How I prepare:
- Cook all the vegetables except celery. Either pressure cook to one whistle or microwave for about 12-15 min.
- Drain the water from the cooked veggies. Chop the celery fine and add to it.
- Next add Mayonnaise, fresh cream. Most recipes of this salad call for sour cream. Though I swear by Fresh cream (by Amul).
- Add salt, pepper and dry mixed herbs or pizza seasoning (this one adds garlic flavour too). Mayonnaise already has salt in it. So be careful with the amount of salt you add.
- Mix gently; coating each veggie with the cream and mayo.
- Taste-test, refrigerate and serve cold.
- If you feel the cream is making the salad too watery, add less of it.
- Dry herbs are optional. I keep them handy for white-sauce pastas. The little jar of dry herbs that I have, has 5 herbs – Thyme, Rosemary, Oregano, Basil and Parsley.