Ensalada Rusa (Russian Salad) in a Dominican blog?
Why yes! Practically every country on earth has a version of potato salad, and many also call theirs “Russian salad”, but did you know where Russian salad originated? I bet you won’t guess in a million years.
Well, what do you know, it did come from Russia after all!
The original “Russian salad” was created by the chef Laurence Olivier who worked at the prestigious Hermitage Restaurant in Moscow at the turn of the 19th Century. The original Olivier salad (as it is known in many countries) did not contain mayo, but a signature dressing that is now lost in time, but almost certainly contained mustard and oil from Provence.
The salad also contained beef tongue, cold cuts and lettuce, although it probably changed with the seasons, or availability of ingredients.
This is why this dish is known as Salade Olivier in France.
In our country it has become what is probably the most popular salad and is always present at all types of occasions. From the informal family reunions to the elaborate Christmas dinner table. From lunch to dinner.
Ensalada Rusa – Versions
Depending on the family’s taste, and on the occasion, different versions of this salad may be served. Two common versions are the one that includes beets and another with apples. This last one is the one usually served for Christmas.
From Russia with love!
- 1 lb [0.45 kg] of potatoes
- 2 large carrots
- 3 eggs
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 1 medium beetroot (optional)
- 1 apple (any variety)
- 1 medium red onion, diced into small cubes
- ½ cup of sweet corn (optional)
- ½ cup of blanched or canned green peas (optional)
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- Boil together the potatoes, carrots and eggs with a teaspoon of salt.
- Boil the beetroot in a different pot (do not use beetroot if you are going to use apple).
- Peel potatoes, carrots, eggs, apple (or beetroot) and dice into small cubes.
- Mix potatoes, carrots, eggs, apple (or beetroot), onion. corn and peas. Add mayonnaise and mix.
- Season with salt to taste.
- Serve chilled.
There are as many varieties of this salad as there are home in the DR. Optional ingredients are added (or not) in some homes. Other options include adding a dash of vinegar, or a pinch of sugar to the salad. Experiment until you find the version you like most.