No matter how much you love your own potato salad recipe you absolutely must try mine!! It’s everyone’s favourite!
I’ve resisted sharing this potato salad recipe my mother has been making for decades despite the fact that absolutely no holiday table goes without this Russian salad Olivier.
I struggled in vain. I believe it’s time I reveal my secret. It’s time I reveal all my secrets.
You see this recipe is loved by all. The tradition and history of this creamy potato salad recipe dates to the 19th century imperial Russia in all its glitz and glamour.
The golden century when Russian nobility could afford only the best of the best, so they hired cream of the crop staff from all over Europe and that was especially true for chefs.
French cuisine was in vogue and that is why many old Russian recipes like Beef Stroganoff feature elements of it, especially in the the sauces.
Back to my potato salad recipe though. What is so special about it?
It’s been created by a French chef Lucien Oliver for an upscale Moscow restaurant and soon became so popular that the owner could never take it off the menu or people complained.
Many other chefs were ever so envious and tried to duplicate the recipe but unsuccessfully, and Monsieur Olivier took the secret recipe to his grave.
However his potato salad recipe continued to live on, and is still extremely popular in all parts of Russia and former Soviet Union. It is also known in many European countries as “Russian salad”.
I was quite surprised to see how ubiquitous “enslada Russa” was all over Spanish restaurant menus. It is apparently also very popular in Iran to the point where people don’t even know know it’s not a Persian potato salad! It truly became a part of their culture.
You learn something new every day!
Anyway, due to this potato salad being so very popular in Russia, an abundance of recipes exist. So if you’ve ever tried a different version of it, please know that is how it’s supposed to be.
Everyone puts their own spin on this potato salad recipe as long as core ingredients remain. If you mix boiled potatoes, eggs, pickles, some sort of meat and mayonnaise, you’ve got yourself the Russian salad Oliver.
So what took me so long to post this recipe you might ask? And why was I resisting it? The truth is this salad is not really my style and it’s not photogenic in any way! No matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t make it look good.
I guess you are going to have to take my word for it when I say this salad is so delicious I had to share it no mater how much it pains me!
Just a few words on how my version of this Russian potato salad recipe differs from so many. First of all, if you live in Russia, go ahead and use any mayonnaise you prefer but if you don’t, then you absolutely need to make my salad dressing.
Adding Dijon mustard and white wine vinegar makes the mayonnaise like Hellmann’s taste so much better and much closer to the version I grew up with.
Traditionally ham or boiled kolbasa is used in the potato salad recipe but my mum always used chicken and I prefer that. I usually buy rotisserie chicken or roast chicken pieces in my supermarket as they are more flavourful then plain boiled chicken.
This time I used leftover grilled chicken thighs! And lastly, I always, always add apple and loads of fresh herbs to my potato salad and no peas!
Please let me know how you make yours!! And if you try my potato salad, let me see your photos! Just tag @vikalinka in your Instagram shots and I will see them!
A hearty and flavourful Russian potato salad also known as Salad Olivier is a welcome addition to any celebration!
- 1/2 cup/125ml mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp water to loosen the dressing
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 4 waxy potatoes like red potatoes medium, boiled and cooled
- 6 eggs hard boiled
- 1 lbs cooked chicken such as rotisserie chicken
- 4 dill pickles (not sweet) Polish gherkins in UK
- 3-4 green onions
- 1/2 apple medium
- 1 tbsp dill fresh
- 1 tbsp parsley fresh
- salt to taste
In a small bowl mix all ingredients with a whisk until well blended. Add a touch more water for desired consistency.
Cook eggs and unpeeled potatoes, cool. Peel both and set aside. Boil or roast chicken if not using already prepared chicken. Remove skin and bones. (You can also use any leftover chicken for this salad.)
Dice all ingredients into a 1/2 inch dice and mix gently in a large bowl, add herbs and dressing last, then season with salt to taste. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow flavours to meld. Do not be tempted to skip this step as it does make a difference.