The Russian Potato Salad (some people say Ukrainian) is the king is potato salads, so much so it is more of a cold appetizer than a side dish. It has great texture, being the perfect blend of starchy vegetables, crunchy vegetables and meat. It also looks great, its a kaleidoscope of colours bathed in a milky white dressing. Most importantly Russian Potato Salad tastes great. A perfect dish to make ahead of time so there is less time-pressure when you are cooking and serving your meal.
- Potatoes (6 = 3 cups)
- Carrots (3 = 1.5 cups)
- Frozen Peas (1.5 cups)
- Red Onion (1/4)
- Eggs (4)
- Ham (200g)
- Heinz Sandwich Spread (1/3 cup)
- Sour Cream (1/3 cup)
- Mayonnaise (1/3 cup)
- Liquid Smoke
- Dill Weed
- Boil 4 eggs in a pot, starting with cold water. Simmer for 10 minutes once it is boiling and then place the eggs in cold water.
- Peel the carrots and potatoes and cube them into 1cm blocks. Place the cubed potato and carrot in a large sauce pan and add boiling water from a kettle. Add just enough water to cover everything and bring to a boil.
- Simmer for 8 minutes once it is boiling. Strain
through a colander and after a minute pour into a large salad bowl lined with some paper towels.
- Rinse the peas in water to remove any ice and then place those into the same pan. Again add just enough water to cover everything and bring to a boil. Simmer for 3 minutes once it is boiling. As with before strain through a colander and then add to the salad bowl.
- Julienne 1/4 of a red onion and cube 200g of ham.
- Mix 1/3 cup Heinz Sandwich Spread, 1/3 cup sour cream, 1/3 cup mayonnaise, 1T of dill weed, 1T of liquid smoke in a bowl. Add also 0.5t each of sugar, pepper and salt.
- Remove the paper towels from the vegetables.
- Peel the eggs and put them through an egg slicer a few times. The whites should end up cubed while the yolk should fall apart. Add the egg bits to the bowl together with the chopped onion and ham. Mix everything up gently and then add the dressing and do a second mixing.
- Refrigerate at least for a few hours before serving.
- Some people call this the Olivier Salad, after a Chef Olivier who served a similar style salad in the Moscow Hermitage Restaurant. That may well have been the original inspiration for this salad but its quite different, containing more exotic ingredients like grouse, crayfish and capers.
- One important feature of the Russian Potato Salad is all (except the onion) the pieces should be of the same size. Since you can’t change the size of the peas, that becomes your standard.
- Do not use canned peas, they are too soft and mushy and will get mashed.
- Heinz Sandwich Spread provides the taste of pickles and additional layers of flavour. It is the ‘secret ingredient’ of my recipe. If you can’t find some you can chop up some pickled gherkins with 1/3 cup of Crosse and Blackwell Salad Cream as an alternative, that’s how I used to do it.
- Everybody has their own version so feel free to experiment. You can use roast chicken or bologna instead of ham, these are the common alternatives for meat. Swap in beetroot if raw onion is not to your liking. You can also choose to leave the egg yolk out.