Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Russian Salad

I grew up in a socialist country, with non-religious parents, which meant that, when I was growing up, we did not celebrate Christmas.  The big festivity of the year, for us, was New Year.  As my parents - and the majority of people that were not church goers - did not do the whole presents thing, what that meant was staying up till after midnight, watching Superman on telly (well, I'm sure it was not always Superman, must have been some other film some years, although the tricky memory and the passage of time refuse to throw up anything else), fireworks, and of course, Russian salad.

Really not sure why - perhaps it was a frugal and easy option to feed even the biggest party of revellers - and it wasn't just the Russian salad - there were always hours of cooking, and baking, and whatnot - but whatever else was served up, nice though it doubtless was, changed from year to year, whilst Russian salad was, and as far as I'm aware, remains, a tradition.

So that is what I made today, in order to scoff tonight.  As is often the case with these things, there are no hard and fast quantities - it depends on what you have in and how many you're catering for, as well as personal taste, but what you will need is

mayo (homemade is best)

First I made mayo - I used Elaine's 10 second method - an egg, a spoonful of mustard, a splash of cider vinegar, a sprinkle of salt, 250ml oil and a stick blender.  It doesn't get much easier than this !

Potatoes - this is about four medium ones, boiled in their skins, allowed to cool slightly then peeled, cubed and seasoned.

Gherkins - three of 'em


Peas and carrots cooked for 6-7 minutes (you don't want too much of a crunch for this) - three carrots and a handful of peas. I didn't use the lot for salad - a couple of handfuls went into a tub in the fridge for when DD next wants a quick dish of rice and veg.

Mix all together with mayo, stick in the fridge. 

A perfect party side-dish, although I have been known to just eat it on its own. Many times.
Happy New Year xxx


  1. Sounds good, I think the gerkins are a great addition. Hope you had a good time, and that 2014 is a very happy year for you and yours.

  2. Hi Allegra and Happy New Year. Your salad recipe reminded me of our family's traditional item for any New Year's Eve buffet - a potato salad which started with chopped onion, vinegar, salt and pepper. We'd add boiled egg, gherkins and Fleischwurst (all diced), then sliced potatoes and mayo. Quantities were always guesstimated and partly dependent on the budget. Unfortunately my family aren't keen, but I'll make some of your recipe for me and anyone who wants to try.

  3. In the ( Northern Irish) household I grew up in , dinner on New Years Eve signified the end of the holidays... It was always tinned Ham and tinned russian salad!- They were always the last items left in the christmas hamper my mother bought every year......
    Its now many years since they stopped making tinned salad-but the taste of peas and carrots in mayo will bring my childhood flooding back......

  4. Hi, I just blog hopped from Beautiful Life blog and am very impressed with your recipe for Russian salad and the link to 10 sec. mayo. I'm off down to the kitchen now to have an experiment!
    Love from Mum