Olivier Salad is perhaps the most famous Russian salad recipe. That’s because while it is super easy to prepare, it delivers a burst of different rich and voluptuous flavors. Olivier is a classic salad ensuring a mixture of various tastes that combine super well and makes your table tastier than ever.
What is Olivier Salad?
The Olivier Salad is a traditional Russian salad that is very commonly served on special holidays or family gatherings, usually around Christmas and New Year’s holidays, Easter and others. If you ever lived in Russia or at least were there during the winter holidays, you surely heard about Olivier.
In fact, you may have heard of it as “Olivye” (O-LI-VYE) and that’s because that’s how this salad is called in Russia. And the salad is called “salat” (SA-LAT). So in Russia Olivier Salad is commonly called Olivye Salat. Regardless of how you call it and where you prepare it, every single bite of this tasty dish is going to be full of a feeling of great pleasure.
One of the best things about this salad is that in case you are a person who does not really love to follow the traditional recipe, you can experiment as you wish. That’s the reason why Olivier Salad can be so much different from a restaurant to another, and from a region to another.
The Russian Olivier Salad is made with potatoes whilst many people may exclude them. Is made with pickles but many people may switch them to fresh cucumbers. Some people add sweet peas, others add carrots instead, but you may also add them both. Lots of people add onions, others may not. The salad is made with boiled chicken meat or ham – at your own taste. In almost all cases eggs are used and the traditional Russian Olivier Salad won’t be complete without mayonnaise which is used as dressing and all seasoned with salt and pepper.
Ingredients For Olivier Salad
- Some sort of meat at your discretion
- Pickles (or fresh cucumbers)
- Peas (optional)
- You may add something else or exclude something that you do not love
Keep in mind that this salad is very versatile and you may add or exclude some ingredient at your own taste. If you’ve never tried Olivier Salad, you may experiment multiple times adding/ excluding different things until you find your own perfect version of Olivier salad. Every family has its own version of Olivier Salad and that’s why you may find this dish very differently tasting.
There are people who may add even crab, apples, or other things upon their wish. But our family never adds those ingredients so we present you the classic version.
But then again, mayonnaise is the ingredient that everyone agrees on, pretty much as the boiled eggs and some sort of meat should be present. The salad is full of tastes and is something in very high demand during the winter holidays in almost every Russian/ Ukrainian family. You may as well like other Russian originated recipes such as Salmon salad or the cold Okroshka soup.
How To Prepare Olivier Salad?
In order to make the perfect Olivier Salad, follow this recipe and you’re going to get into the world full of tastes. Firstly, you need to boil the potatoes, carrots, and eggs.
I personally never peel the carrots and potatoes before boiling them, but that’s up to you. Make sure that you add the potatoes to a put that is containing enough water to cover them. When it starts boiling, reduce the heat and leave it there until they are going to be soft when you pierce them. Usually, this process is taking approximately 15-20 minutes and the exact same process with carrots too.
The eggs, however, are boiled until are hard. There is no need to get a soft boiled egg. Usually, that’s going to take you no less than 5 minutes to boil them, but usually longer.
When they are all cooked and cooled down – peel them all and then finely cut them in even slices.
Is extremely important to cut them all in the same size, that’s one of the key elements in Olivier Salad.
How small to chop the ingredients?
A pretty small one because the size for each cut ingredient should be enough to get a forkful of all the different ingredients. With a single forkful, you should be enough to get all ingredients at once!
Then, cut the meat and pickles of the same size and mix everything together in a large bowl. When mixing, add the salt and pepper to your own taste and then leave it in a refrigerator until you’re ready to serve.
The final and one of the most important ingredients – mayonnaise should be added just before you’re ready to serve it.
Advantages of Olivier Salad
- One of the best advantages is the fact that you can make this salad in advance. The salad is even better the next day and whilst you may be skeptical about that, it could be logical – all the tastes are getting combined even more.
- This salad is remaining good for days. This is not the type of salad that should be thrown away the next day in case you have not eaten it. It remains well enough for many days (unless you add the mayonnaise, which is why is not recommended to do so).
- Is a classic family recipe, which is perfect for family gatherings. Thinking of Olivier Salad, I’m always thinking of winter holidays. Oooh, Christmas…
- Is very versatile and can be changed in your own way. You can exclude something that you do not love or/and other ingredients that you do love and/ or think they would mix well.
Olivier Salad Recipe Tips:
- Carefully cut all the ingredients to be the same size (small, like a pea)
- The leftovers from this salad are going to be good for many days in the fridge unless mayonnaise was added.
- The salad can be eaten with bread most commonly, or plain.
- Is recommended to refrigerate the salad for at least one hour before serving it. The salad is meant to be served cold.
- If you want a low carb version, exclude the potatoes.
- Apply mayonnaise only before serving.
- Squeeze pickles or let them dry overnight. Too much juice from pickles may overpower the flavor of other ingredients. Leave it if you absolutely love the taste.
Olivier - Russian Salad with Ham
- 4 medium eggs
- 3 medium potatoes
- 2 medium carrots
- 4 medium pickles
- 2 cups ham diced
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 3 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 handful parsley
- 1 handful dill
- 1 medium onion optional
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground pepper optional
- Boil the carrots with potatoes together for about 15 minutes or until soft
- Boil the eggs to hard
- Let cool the veggies and the eggs; peel when cool
- Dice the carrots, the potatoes, and the eggs. Put everything in one big bowl
- Dice the pickles, the ham, and the onion and mix with the other diced ingredients
- Chop the dill and the parsley; add to the bowl
- Season with salt, add the mayo and the sunflower oil
- Mix well and serve