Home Cooking


How do you make Salad Olivier (aka Russian salad, ensalada rusa)?


Home Cooking Russian

How do you make Salad Olivier (aka Russian salad, ensalada rusa)?

rworange | | Jan 8, 2011 07:41 PM

One of the most common salads in Guatemala is ensalada rusa, a mixture of diced potatoes, carrots, peas and mayo. It is served regularly in homes, restaurants and the most humble street stand. It is to Guatemala as potato salad is to the US ... only more so.

I'm addicted to it.

It is said to be invented by Lucien Olivier, chef at the Hermitage Restaurant, in 1860. It became wildly popular in Spain. From what I can see, it is popular througout Latin America.

I've had Salad Olivier in SF at Russian delis. I wasn't too impressed. They put too much stuff in it. But the simpler, Gautemalan version ... love it.

Oddly enough, none of my half dozen Guatemalan cookbooks have the recipe, so I was looking for it online when I read the wiki article about all the variations thruought the world. Wiki writes of the original

"The exact recipe — particularly that of the dressing — was a jealously guarded secret, but it is known that the salad contained grouse, veal tongue, caviar, lettuce, crayfish tails, capers, smoked duck, although it is possible that the recipe was varied seasonally.

The original Olivier dressing was a type of mayonnaise, made with French wine vinegar, mustard, and Provençal olive oil; its exact recipe, however, remains unknown."

Kind of interesting to read all the intrigue that went behind this with a sous chef trying to steal and recreate the recipe.

The real Russian version has a sausage similar to hot dogs which is why I may not have liked it. Then again it might just be that Russian food in general, for the most part, is lousy in the Bay Area.

Anyway it is interesting to read the link about the different versions in Bugaria, Spain, Greece, etc. It is called American salad in Turkey because of the tiff with Russia. Anybody remember when French fries were called freedom fries when the US was put out with France?

This translated version of Spanish wiki talks about the Latin American version. Surprisingly it is a pretty decent translation

Spanish wiki states "In Colombia usually be served with sausage, donuts, cheese, ham, turkey, peaches and grapes, among others."

Donuts? I thought that was a bad translation, but looking at the original Spanish it is indeed served with buenuelos. In Peru they add beets. There are many other Latin country variations.

So .. do you make Russian salad? How?

Anyone have Olivier's original recipe ... especially the dressing?

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