Polish food, Salads and veggies

Russian salad or just a veggie salad

December 28, 2013

russian salad

I must confess to something. We’ve been talking here about Polish flavours like mushroom pierogibigos,  etc. And it may seem to you I’m so into those flavours. Well I kind of am, but only a little bit. I told you I love potato based dishes, so most Christmases and Easters I would eat mostly the  only thing that contain potatoes the Russian salad. Everything else (except my aunt cakes) could disappear for me and I wouldn’t mind. My parents would make a huge bowl (by huge I mean a washing-up type of bowl) of salad. To be fair, we have quite big family and my parents like it as well, but still… I would eat the salad like three times a day during holidays. So you see this recipe was evidently missing on the blog.

russian salad

For me this salad was always basic Polish salad, we just call it veggie salad, what was my surprise to see it’s called Russian salad, although Wikipedia says  that traditional Russian salad should include meat. I was even more surprised to get this salad as a side in a Brazilian restaurant. My Brazilian friend said they don’t have a special name for the salad other than veggie salad with mayo.

It is kind of old-fashion salad, but it is still perfect for any party, not necessary for Christmas or Easter. It’s a perfect make-ahead dish, as it tastes better if it spends 24 hours in a fridge. The recipe is very flexible, you can add more carrots if you like to, you can replace peas with corn, you may omit dill pickles or onions for milder taste, you can add boiled celery. Quantities of ingredients are flexible too, you just want to achieve nice colourful spots of green and red.

russian salad

Russian salad or just a veggie salad

Russian salad or just a veggie salad

This is one of those imprecise, but forgiving recipes. Main rule is to gain enough green and red spots, as it will look pretty. Be careful with strong flavours like dill pickles and onion, they may overpower the salad.

  • 6-8 medium potatoes
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 small root parsley
  • 3 eggs, hard-boiled
  • 2-3 medium pickled dill cucumbers
  • 1-2 apple
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 cup green peas, boiled or canned
  • 3 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 6 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • salt
  • pepper
In one pot boil potatoes with their skins on until tender but still firm. Leave them to cool them down and peel them.
Peel the carrots and parsley. In a second pot boil carrots and parsley until tender but still firm. Leave them to cool them down.
Peel the apples.
Dice potatoes, carrots, parsley, eggs, pickled dill cucumbers, apples and onions into small cubes (around 1/2-cm) and place them into a big bowl.
Add green peas into the bowl.
Mix the chopped ingredients, so the vegetables are well distributed (it's better to do it before adding mayonnaise as, it's just easier to stir).
Add mustard, mayonnaise, salt and pepper and mix well.
Add more mayo if it seems a bit dry, but try not to overdo it.
Taste a spoonful of the salad and, if needed, adjust the seasoning according to taste, but remember that on the next day flavours will more distinctive.

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14 Comments

  • Reply moira December 29, 2013 at 06:56

    my mum has a similar recipe that she calls russian salad as well but there are silver onions and pickled artichoke hearts in it. Its soo good. I tried to recreate it here but i have never seen an artichoke in an irish supermarket, let alone a jar of pickled hearts. Its just not the same without them!
    ps: your pictures are getting better and better, love the winter light! xx

    • Reply Magda December 29, 2013 at 16:15

      I have a feeling that Russian salad is popular all over the world in different variations. I sent you an email with info about artichokes.
      Thank you for a compliment, I’m quite pleased with myself too :) I noticed the more photos I get for the blog, the better they get, but usually I’m not a good blogger and I end up posting at most 3 times a month and that’s not enough. And I finally noticed that morning light is just much better for food, so I organized myself to take photos around noon, rather than in the afternoon.

  • Reply Joanna December 29, 2013 at 15:14

    Ale mi slinka poleciala na widok tej salatki!!! Ja zazwyczaj robie na swieta ale w tym roku zlecilam mojej kolezance wiec co zostalo po wigili juz dawno poszlo!!! W sumie przyzadzenie jej nie zabiera tak duzo czasu ale ja tyko robie 2 razy do roku. Moja kolezanka z Iranu takze mowi ze ja przyrzadza ale u nich to sie nazywa russion salad i ma jakies inne skladniki ale juz nie pamietam. pa

    • Reply Magda December 29, 2013 at 16:17

      Ja się cieszę, że moja już zjedzona, bo mój organizm nie przyjmuje takiej ilości majonezu tak dobrze jak kiedyś, dlatego też nie robię jej za często. Też chyba będzie maksymalnie 2 razy w roku.
      No właśnie, ta sałatka chyba na całym świecie jest popularna w różnych lokalnych wariacjach.

      • Reply Joanna December 29, 2013 at 20:25

        Masz racjie, ja takze sie odzwyczilam od majonezu:) Dalam twoj post na moim FB, mam nadzieje ze nie masz nic przeciwko temu;)

        • Reply Magda December 29, 2013 at 22:58

          Oczywiście, że nie mam nic przeciwko temu, dzięki temu mogłam naprawić niedopatrzenie i polubić Twoją stronę na Facebooku, a wydawało mi się, że zrobiłam to już wcześniej.
          Ja majonez nadal uwielbiam, to moja miłość od dzieciństwa (wina mamy, też lubi), ale z rozsądku używam go dużo mniej

  • Reply Anna December 29, 2013 at 19:54

    I don’t include the apple, parsley, or onion but put in celery and parsnip. It’s a much loved staple at Christmas:)

    • Reply Magda December 29, 2013 at 20:02

      Hi Anna, I think there are always family variations. My parents gave up dill picked cucumbers and onion and my aunt replace peas with corn. But I think everybody will recognize it on the table straight away.

  • Reply 2013 snapshots - Magda's Cauldron December 30, 2013 at 14:45

    […] also managed to share some my favourite Polish recipes like Russian salad, potato pancakes, chrusty, herrings, or crunchy pierogi filled with dried […]

  • Reply Dina January 5, 2014 at 02:13

    looks like a yummy salad!

  • Reply Vishy May 6, 2014 at 10:19

    Magda, Did you mean something else when in your method you have asked us to boil carrots with “parsley”? I would like to try the recipe.

    • Reply Magda May 6, 2014 at 10:28

      Hi Vishy, I just boil carrots and root parsley in the same pot as they are similar size. I probably should mention it is root parsley, you can use parsnip instead if you want to. Does my answer help?

  • Reply galia December 12, 2014 at 17:36

    Yup, it’s russian salad. I have been in Brazil and in Vietnam and they serve similar thing and call it russian salad.. well, fair enough :)

    • Reply Magda December 13, 2014 at 14:20

      I’ve seen it called Macedonian as well, but I guess everybody wants to get a chunk of it ;) I was surprised it’s popular in Brazil, and it’s funny they eat it as a side salad with dinner, like beans, rice and meat. For me russian salad is a meal on its own :)

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