Posts Tagged ‘Olivier salad’

Roger’s Russian salad

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Roger had made two bowls of Russian salad: a vegan version for me and a more conventional one for his other guests. My salad was much admired – the chunks of beetroot gleaming like jewels in their vinaigrette coating while the colours of the other salad were muted by mayonnaise.

We all agreed that what made the flavour of this salad so striking was the contrast between the very tart apples from Roger’s garden and the other ingredients. As there’s no shortage of apples in our garden either right now, I soon came up with a salad along similar lines.

Salade russe 2

If you have to buy apples, I think Granny Smiths or Egremont Russets would work well in this recipe.

Shortly afterwards, I happened to read that what we in Europe call Russian Salad was invented by a French chef working in Mocow in the 19th century, and is still known in Russia and the United States as "Olivier Salad".

Serves 2

400g (about 1lb) waxy potatoes
A large, tart apple (mine weighed 200g – 8oz)
A large cooked beetroot
Half a cucumber
1 or 2 shallots
1 tbs cider vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
3 tbs olive oil
Salt and freshly milled black pepper

Boil or steam the potatoes in their skins. Peel them once they are cool enough to handle, then cut into largish dice. (I like to add the dressing to potato salads while the potatoes are still warm, as they absorb the flavours better that way, but it’s not vital.)

Peel and dice the apple, cucumber and shallots. Mix with the potatoes, then add the diced beetroot.

Shake the vinegar and mustard together in a small glass jar. Add the oil and shake again. Add salt and pepper to taste, then pour the dressing over the vegetables and mix together gently.