For many years, Russian salad has been a mystery for me. In Italy we don’t consume it much, apart from the odd buffet-style dinner party so I never had too much curiosity about making it at home. In London, between my good Russian friend and my Spanish other half, I discovered the many faces of this salad. A favourite tapa in Spain, where they call it Ensaladilla: you will find it in all the menus around the land. A winter favourite in Russia: I got to learn, and taste, that they have meat versions and fish versions. Now that I’m in Singapore, the hot temperatures simply call for a refreshing dish that I can eat from the fridge at my convenience. So here is a recipe of Russian salad, as we make it in my household, Spanish style. It is only one of many versions, as this dish is so easy to change according to one’s taste and preference. The basic ingredients are mayo, potatoes and vegetables: you can then enrich it with your favourite herbs, favourite meat or fish, and add any extra ingredients you can think of.
4 medium-large potatoes
200g canned peas
200ml mayonnaise or more if you want a richer flavour
2 hard-boiled eggs
2 tbsp green olives pitted and sliced
3 pickled gherkins, cut in small pieces
4 canned mini corns, cut in small pieces
150g can of tuna in olive oil
Step 1 – Boil the potatoes and the carrot. It will take around 30 minutes for the potatoes to reach the right consistency for salad, you don’t want them overcooked or they will mash, so do check with a fork to make sure this doesn’t happen. After boiled, put them in a plate to cool down. Do the same with the eggs if you didn’t boil them already, and let them cool till time of preparation.
Step 2 – While your basics cool down, you can make your own mayonnaise, using our recipe from last week, which will make your salad a lot tastier. If you don’t want to make it and you are reading this from a place in the world where you can access an Eastern European deli, I suggest you buy this Polish mayonnaise. It’s arguably the tastiest mayo in the shops.
Step 3 – Chop the potatoes and carrot in small cubes and put them in a large bowl. Add all the other ingredients, all chopped in small cubes.
Step 4 – Add the mayonnaise and mix gently so that the whole salad is evenly dressed with your delicious mayo. Store your salad in the fridge and serve it cold. If you have made the mayonnaise at home, make sure you consume it within two days from preparation. Enjoy and let us know, what is your favourite ingredient you add to your Russian salad?