Russian salad varies in ingredients not just in different countries but even within Russia itself, but I think we can agree that the main key ingredients in all Russian salad are, potatoes, carrots, peas, boiled eggs and mayonnaise.
Where Did Russian Salad Come From?
I always thought it was a French salad to be honest because growing up, during my visits to Morocco, we saw this salad all over the Moroccan restaurants, cafes and takeaway joints. I knew that Morocco had a lot of French and Spanish influence, so I just assumed that’s where it came from! It wasn’t until a few years back that I learned the true facts behind the famous origins of this mouth-watering potato goodness.
I also learned that another popular name for this salad is “Olivier Salad” or “Moscovian Salad” because apparently it was first invented in the 1860s by a Belgian Chef called Lucien Oliver, who was working for the very popular Hermitage restaurant situated in Moscow at the time.
This Russian salad is also very popular in Uzbekistan. Being an ex-soviet union country, Uzbekistan shares many influences and recipes with Russia and vise versa. In Uzbekistan it is common to add red meat to it, in Morocco it is usually meatless, and in other corners of the earth chicken is preferred to be added. It is always added to the table on New Years’ Eve and other special occasions.
Health Benefits of Russian Salad
Regardless of the history, this salad is tasty, nutritious and easy to make, and although the one you find in Morocco is slightly different from the original, (we don’t add meat or dill), here are some benefits to the key ingredients all Russian salads have to include or it can’t really be called a Russian Salad :
Unlike processed potato products like french fries and potato chips, whole, unprocessed potatoes have very little sodium. The potato’s fibre, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin B-6 content, coupled with its lack of cholesterol, all support heart health. Choline is a very important and versatile nutrient in potatoes that helps with sleep. Potatoes contain folate, which plays a role in DNA synthesis and repair, thus preventing the formation of cancer cells.
Peas are a full-on high level of protein, vitamins, fibre and minerals, and contain a small amount of natural sugar.
As we all know, carrots are rich in vitamins E and D that is very important for the eyes and skin.
Eggs are a good source of protein that is essential for the human body, it’s also good for the skin and hair. Eggs provide vitamins A, E, D and B+.
Moroccan Russian Salad
- 3 Whole potatoes Boiled Boiled, peeled and cut into small cubes
- 2 Large carrots Boiled, peeled and cut into small cubes
- 1/2 cup of boiled or tinned peas
- 4 Boiled eggs, peeled & chopped into cubes leave 1 for garnish
- 6 medium-sized cornichons or gherkins sliced or chopped small
- 2 tbsp Light mayonnaise rounded tbsp
- 1 handful chopped parsley for garnish
- 1 tsp Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp Moroccan white vinegar or 1/2 lemon juice
- 1 pinch of pepper
- I wash the potatoes and boil them whole with the skin together with the carrots but I peel the carrots beforehand and remove the ends. keeping them whole also. (be careful not to over boil, make sure it's just over half boiled) Remove the potato skin after it's cooled down and then dice small along with the carrots.
- Boil the peas and eggs separately because they don't take as much time 😉
- chop all the ingredients into similar sized cubes and add to a suitable size mixing bowl before adding the seasoning & mayonnaise. Give it a thorough mix.
- Garnish the serving plate with some washed lettuce leaves before dishing out the mixture, and then top the mix with some grated boiled egg & chopped parsley