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Russian Potato Salad (Guest Blogging for Melissa)

Last week, Melissa of Schweet 'N Savory emailed me and asked if I'd be her guest blogger. Of course I said "yes." That was an easy part. The hard part was trying to figure out what I should cook and talk about. After giving this dilemma some thought, I decided to make Russian Potato Salad (Olivie in Russian).

Ever since I was a little girl, I remember this salad being an integral part of every single birthday, holiday and celebration. My mom would make ginormous amounts of this potato salad, and we would eat the leftovers for several days, as the flavors got better with each additional day. Whoever would eat the last portion was not a very popular person in our household.

As Anna (my twin) and I grew older, my mom assigned us tasks of cubing potatoes, carrots, and other vegetables. I can still hear her telling us that our cubes weren't small enough! It was important to cut all vegetables in a uniform way. Eventually, Anna and I took over making the entire salad: quite a lengthy process, but very much worth it.

This past weekend I had 3 days off: just enough time to make the salad and have enough leftovers to savor for days.

I suppose I should now tell you what's included in this salad: potatoes, carrots, canned green peas, eggs, pickles, mayonnaise, onion (optional), Granny Smith apple (optional), and dill. There are quite a few variations on the basic theme: you can add defrosted peas, boiled chicken, even hot dogs! The key to this salad, in my opinion, is the mayonnaise: I truly love the flavor it adds to the otherwise healthy vegetables.

Ingredients (these are just some guidelines: feel free to add more or less depending on your preference)
2 potatoes
5 carrots
1 can of peas
6 baby dill pickles
3 eggs
1/2 Granny Smith apple

1. Cook potatoes, carrots, and eggs. It is very important not to overcook the vegetables: you don't want the salad to turn into a mush. At the same time, however, using undercooked potatoes is a crime in my book :) [Note: I cooked potatoes and carrots without peeling them first; my mom, however, recommended peeling carrots first: she is absolutely right! Follow her advice.]
2. Once the potatoes, carrots and eggs are cool, peel and cube them.
3. Cube pickles, and add them to the potato/carrot/egg mixture.
4. Add chopped Granny Smith apple, a can of peas and enough mayonnaise to mix everything together.
5. Season with salt and pepper, and if you want add finely chopped onion.
6. Let the salad sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.
7. Garnish the salad with dill, and you are done!

I really hope some of you will try this recipe: it does take a bit of time, but the results are worthy! For those of you have have children, siblings, and/or significant others, this is a great "family" project!

Thank you, Melissa, for inviting me to be your guest blogger!


Dewi said...

Olga, this got to be the best potato salad ever.
Look so delicious.

Unknown said...

Thanks Olga! It looks great!!!

Olga said...

I LOVE olivie! It's like one of my favorite Russian foods =] My mom also puts chicken in it and omits the apple.

Anonymous said...

My favorite too! My mom now makes it with ham, peas also.

veggie belly said...

You have a twin?! How cool! She seems to have similar interests as you :)

Lori said...

I use to make this recipe, similar one, all the time. Its been so long! One of the main differences was that I put beets in mine. Made it a pretty shade of pink. Which was kind of fun!

Very pretty pictures of this beautiful salad.

pigpigscorner said...

My fiance loves potato salad! He will really enjoy this!

Anonymous said...

This would be a wonderful side dish for traditional barbeque!

Gera@SweetsFoodsBlog said...

Olga a delicious salad...a tradition here with beef bbqed or with chivito.
A good and tasty solution to your dilemma :)

Olga if you want, I tagged you at my blog.


Olga said...

Thanks everyone for your comments!

Lori, the salad you mention is actually called vinegret: I will post it in a few days.

For those of you who are inspired to make this potato salad, trust me: you are not going to regret it! Please let me know how it turns out.

BlueToYou said...

mmm looks lovely! i would recommend Dukes light or regular mayo though, best mayo i've ever had. yum. i need to make this on a good cholesterol day:)

Peter M said...

Russian eh? I should have known with the name Olga!

The Russian salad looks freakin' good, thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Oh the dill and apples...really great!

Julia@SometimesLucid said...

Olga - Now I want some! However, we don't add apples but sometime but in bologna.

A big timesaver now is using the Vidalia Onion Chopper (we use it for vinigret too)!

gail said...

This is one of my favourites, but I never had a recipe! THANK YOU!!

Cindy said...

We had this last night for dinner too. But the Iranian version is potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, chicken (which we skipped last night), pickles, green olives. The dressing is half plain yogurt, half mayo, plus lemon juice, salt and pepper. No dill.

Apparently the dish was created by a French chef whose name was Oliver for the Russian tzar. I always thought it was called Olivier (in Iranian) because of the olives in it!

Anonymous said...

sorry guys, but that is not olivie! that one was always called "Stolichnyi" - something like "from the capital", chicken is optional. kinda cheaper and less tasty version of olivie.
there is no carrots or apples in olivie and there is always russian style bologna and no dill!
so: potatoes, eggs, bologna, canned peas, pickles, green onion, mayo, salt, pepper (i think that's it). some people make summer version with fresh cucumber instead of pickles or mix them. and even that is not real olivie at all! the real one is a bit too screwed up and nobody really knows how to make it! so, there..........

salad lovers said...

very complete recipes. I love salads.

you got a complete ingredients pic r8 there. not an appealing one but looks like it's good

Anonymous said...

I have a similar recipe except the mayonnaise is mixed with sour cream, no apples.

Alida Sharp said...

This is one of my favorite salads!! I have never tried it with apple added in... I will have to give it a try!!

Anya said...

Every Russian family has their own version of Olivie, and each thinks theirs is the most authentic and the tastiest. My mom makes one that has turned vegetarians back to omnivores, at least for that meal. No dill, carrots, or apples in this Olivie. Instead add shreds of boiled beef and chopped onions to the other ingredients Olga (which also happens to be my mom's name) listed. Delicious.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for posting this. My best friend growing up is originally from Latvia, and I can practically taste this potato salad! Can't wait to go home, make it, and give her a call.

Lina from LT said...

Hi. in Lithuania we call it white salad (BALTA MISRAINE). it's most popular salad in our country!
we ussualy take: boilled potatoes (4 medium), boilled carrots (2 big), boilled eggs (3), half of onion, peas (a can or jar), pickles (3 or 4), "soft"mayonese (4 t.sp.), dill. and remember - if you use pickles - do not use an apple!!! its a rule":D after you mix everything - put some pepper and salt and keep for one hour in a fridge!

this salad is a little bit fat if you eat them for the first time - but later - you'll like it FOR SURE!

Olga @ MangoTomato said...

well, I love apples and pickles :) So there!
I love how each family has their own take on this salad.