Russian salad

Happy new year one and all!

This recipe could be a great beginning for the warm days of 2015 when many of us are well and truly 'over' our tried and tested repertoirs of summer salads.

The Moutzouris family encourages you to try this yummy salad. Here's hoping you enjoy this Russian salad as much as we do.

History of the Russian salad

The first mention of a russian salad dates from 1858, though the recipe used at that time is unclear. The original version of the salad we are familiar with was invented in the 1860s by a Russian chef of Belgian origin, Lucien Olivier, the chef of the Hermitage, one of Moscow's most celebrated restaurants. Olivier's salad quickly became immensely popular with Hermitage regulars, and became the restaurant's signature dish.

One of the first printed recipes for Olivier's salad, appearing in 1894, included some hard to find and expensive ingregients such as half a hazel grouse. As often happens with gourmet recipes that become popular, the ingredients that were rare, expensive, seasonal, or difficult to prepare were gradually replaced with cheaper and more readily available foods.

The following recipe for our version of the Russian salad has been modified by my dear husband Terry Moutzouris. Yes, a male contribution − What a revelation!

Ingredients

  • 2 large potatoes peeled and chopped into 10 cm cubes
  • 1 large carrot peeled and chopped into 10 cm cubes
  • 1/2 cups frozen peas
  • 1/2 cups frozen corn
  • 6 cornichons (small pickled cucumbers) finely chopped
  • 2 fresh green shallots chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh mint leaves
  • sprinkle of dill on top (if desired)

Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons of whole-egg mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Method

  • Prepare a steamer (you can boil the vegetables if you don't have a steamer)
  • Place potatoes as the first layer
  • Place carrots as second layer
  • Place frozen peas and frozen corn on top of vegetable layers
  • Steam until firm being careful not to over cook
  • Drain, refresh, pat dry and cool
  • Combine dressing ingredients
  • Add a little salt if desired
  • Toss well with vegetables to which the cornichons, green shallots, parsley, and mint have been added. Add dill if you desire
  • Transfer to a serving dish of your choice.

Sofia and Terry's suggestions

  • Add some fish, meat or even some hard boiled eggs to this versatile salad to create a delicious main meal. Smoked salmon works particularly well.

Recipe and image source

Recipe: Terry Moutzouris
Image: honestcooking.com