14 Oct Vegetarian Russian Potato Salad aka Olivier
There is something very comforting and even nostalgic about Russian Potato Salad. Although it’s better known as Olivier, by the last name of its creator, Belgium chef Lucien Olivier. Chef Olivier created it while working in Hermitage, one of Moscow’s most sophisticated restaurants at that time. The dish became an instant hit, bringing fame and glory to its creator.
The modern version of Olivier salad certainly came a long way from an elaborate meal full of exotic ingredients such as grouse, veal tongue, caviar, crayfish tails, capers, and even smoked duck. Sophisticated proteins were replaced by more accessible doctorskaya kolbasa (a close cousin of Bologna sausage), fresh ingredients swapped for pickles and boiled root vegetables, and store-bought mayonnaise became an official dressing. This less impressive version was based on ingredients that common people could afford at that time. Folks from all corners of the former Soviet Union started making Olivier salad for holidays, birthdays, and all sorts of celebrations. At some point, it became an indispensable part of the New Year feast. I don’t remember celebrating New Year without a platter of Olivier salad in the center of the table. It’s as traditional as the Christmas tree, a bottle of sparkling, and mandarins. The Soviet-style celebration!
After giving a brief history of the famous Russian Potato Salad, I want to clarify that a Soviet Olivier is not a light side dish you can serve along with your protein. It’s a high-fat and calorie-dense cholesterol bomb, waiting to explode in your stomach. And this is exactly why I created my version of Vegetarian Olivier with lots of veggies, tons of fresh herbs, and much lighter dressing. It doesn’t taste heavy, and I love serving it with crispy Schnitzel or traditional Chicken Kyiv.
Even though my Olivier got a substantial makeover, it still has those nostalgic vibes of the salad I grew up eating during the winter holiday season. I hope you’ll give it a try and enjoy it as much as I do!
Vegetarian Russian Potato Salad aka Olivier
- 1 1/2 pounds potato
- 3/4 pounds carrot
- 3 large hard-boiled eggs
- 5 medium-large pickles
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 cup light mayo
- 3 Tbsp sour cream
- 1/4 cup chopped dill
- 1/4 cups chopped parsley
- 3 tablespoons chopped chives
- freshly ground black pepper
Garnish option: 2 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
- Put the potatoes and carrot in a large saucepan, add cold water to cover by about an inch. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, and simmer until veggies are fork-tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain the water and allow the vegetables to cool to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, bring a small saucepan filled with water to a boil. Add the peas and bring to a second boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook for 4 minutes. Drain and rinse well under cold water.
- Peel the carrots. Now chop potatoes, carrots, pickles, and eggs into equal size dice. Pea size would be just perfect.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the chopped veggies, peas, and eggs. Add mayo, sour cream, and herbs. Mix well — season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve on a large platter garnished with more fresh herbs and sliced egg.