Saturday, May 17, 2014

Russian Salad Bulgarian way

Russian salad with some slices breadNo, this is not the recipe for Salad Olivier, although many of the recipes for Russian salad throughout the Internet refer to it as if both salads were one and the same.
Frankly said, I don’t think anybody prepares Salad Olivier at home (or anywhere at all) nowadays. 
Salad Olivier was created (predictably) by a Belgian or French chef Lucian Olivier back in 1860. 19 century was obviously tolerating mayonnaise, salads with mayonnaise were seen as more sophisticated - for reference see the original recipe for Waldorf Salad
Unlike Waldorf salad, created in New York, Russian Salad Olivier was invented in Moscow. It was not intended to be a simple everyday meal – it contained boiled veal tongue and grouse (a type of bird), crawfish tails and aspic. 
Boiled potato The salad called Russian salad nowadays and served widely around the world represents a distant echo of Olivier Salad and although this is one of the recipes which are not followed exactly and which contain varying ingredients according to the local taste or the ingredients available, it still shall contain mayonnaise, pickled cucumbers, boiled carrots and potatoes. Many people add diced ham, boiled eggs, apples. I prefer the version without them. 
And actually this is the recipe perceived as Russian salad in Bulgaria. 
Sandwich with Russian Salad
Ingredients:
·         4  medium sized pickled cucumbers
·         3 medium carrots,  peel on
·         4 medium potatoes, peel on
·         ½ cup canned peas (optional)
·         ½ cup diced ham (optional)
·         1 cup  mayonnaise
·         salt and pepper to taste
Russian SaladPreparation:
Put potatoes and carrots peel on in a pot, add 1 Tbsp salt, cover with water and let simmer for about 30 minutes (vegetables shall be boiled until tender but still firm enough to be diced - fork tender). Drain vegetables and let cool completely.
Peel potatoes and carrots and dice in pieces about the same size as peas.
Dice pickles (and ham) and then add them to the canned peas and the rest of the vegetables in a deep bowl. Add mayo to taste and stir until ingredients are well distributed.
Russian SaladAdjust the seasoning according to taste and refrigerate for at least 2 hours until ready to serve. 
Serve on a slice of rye bread with some cured salmon above. 

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