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A Taste of Russia- olivier salad

A Taste of Russia- olivier salad

A Taste of the Russian New Year

“A New Year celebration without olivier is a bad party” – Alexandra

To name a traditional Russian dish, olivier salad would probably be at the top of many people’s list. As the clock strikes midnight, this salad would most likely be on almost every Russian Dinner table. The ingredients are quite common and the dish is easy to make, which was my only motivation for selecting this recipe, especially considering that this was my first attempt at cooking Russian food.

This recipe was given to me by Alexandra, our Visa Product Manager. Here are all the ingredients you will need to prepare this delicious dish.

Ingredients you will need:
• Mayonnaise- 1 Jar
• Pickled gherkins- 4 pieces diced
• Onions- diced
• Chicken breast- 3 pieces diced
• Potato- peeled and diced
• Cooked ham 100g
• 6 hardboiled eggs
• Green peas- 1 can
• Last but not least, to make it pretty you will need some greens for decoration.

Alexandra’s method:
The right way of preparing this dish begins with peeling, chopping and then boiling the potatoes and eggs. Cut the gherkins, onions, chicken and ham into cubes of similar sizes. Dice your potatoes, peel your boiled eggs and cut into small chunks, and then put all the ingredients in a bowl, after that it’s time to add your peas, drench it in Mayonnaise and mix well. After smoothing the top over with the back of your spoon, decorate with the greens and then tuck in.

What I did:
Preparing this salad was an interesting experience for me, and I imagine it will be the same for you as well. After raiding my freezer, I discovered that I didn’t have either ham or chicken, so I opted for a meat free version instead.

If you’re the food police, I would like to warn you that my version may not be entirely authentic. It’s customary to make a lot of this dish to cover you and your guests for the entire holidays, which is exactly what I did. I decided to bring some to the office for everyone to try, and sadly my salad still sits in the office fridge untouched and neglected.

I began with boiling my diced potatoes and eggs.

Patience is not one of my strong points, so rather than waiting for the water to come to a boil I opted for using the kettle instead.

My eggs couldn’t withstand the heat of the hot water so one cracked.

While I was waiting for my cracked eggs and potatoes to cook in the eggy water, I proceeded to dice my veggies and the other ingredients into small chucks.

The fresh cucumber slices were used towards the end for garnishing, but hidden underneath are gherkins.

I’ve proven that not everyone has the ability to boil an egg.

When the potatoes and eggs came off the stove, I then drained the water, peeled the shells off the eggs, and then sliced into small chucks.

This is what my salad looked like with everything chucked in the same pot, I also added vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, and finally a generous amount of Mayonnaise.

This is how it looked when it was finished, before adding all the garnish.

It was actually very delicious, but I still feel as if it was missing a key ingredient, which of-course was MEAT! If I had remembered to include meat, I would have used fresh chicken breast and deli style ham slices or chucks. I would have diced and then season the chicken with salt and pepper, and lightly fried it in one calorie cooking spray.

I hope you will enjoy cooking the salad as much as you will enjoy eating it. Share yours with us on our Facebook page.