Olivier Salad (vegan option)

The finished product, served with beetroot and horseradish.

The finished product, served with beetroot and horseradish.

The first time I had this salad was on Easter in Poland, with my now-only platonic dining companion’s family, and brings back a memory of a wonderful, comforting meal. Since I was initially worried about finding veggie foods, I was delighted by this dish. Packed full of veggies, it’s much lighter than the mustardy American version of potato salad— which is why I hesitate to even call it potato salad. It’s got much more than potatoes in it: carrots, peas, corn.

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While reading the engrossing Russian cook and memoir Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking: a Memior of Love and Longing, author Anya Von Bremzen talks lovingly about a complicated potato salad that was made by her family on holidays. When I looked at the recipe, I realized: this was a variation of the salad I’d had on Easter. And a quick Google search revealed that there are many variations of this recipe, varying form family to family.

Pickles and beetroot, family variations of the recipe.

Pickles and beetroot, family variations of the recipe.

Von Bremzen’s family used fresh cucumbers and apples. The kind I had, had leeks and pickles in it, and was served with a spicy mixture of beetroot and horseradish— a great compliment in both color and flavor.

The essential ingredients are potatoes, carrots and peas and either lots of mayo or a light, creamy dressing. After that, it’s up to you. To make it vegan, use diced tofu and vegan mayo. (And the blog The Iron You has tasty looking version also has cannellini beans as an ingredient to the sauce, for an even lighter version.) I’d like to add water chestnuts to this.

A few tips: don’t overboil the vegetables. You want the potatoes and carrots to still be nice and crisp. Also, while I used frozen peas because they are lovely and green, canned pea have a better flavor. Also, when cooking the carrots (and peas, if you use frozen) add salt to the water. This will take out the sweetness, and make the veggies meld with the salad.

The dish is a bit time consuming, not because there are tons of ingredients, but because you have to cook everything separately and then assemble it— but the results are totally worth it. But this might be why it’s only made on special occasions, like Christmas or Easter. Also, it keeps well in the fridge for several days.

While we have broken up, I’m glad I had a chance to try this homemade Polish dish.

Ingredients

3 medium sized potatoes, peeled and boiled

3 medium sized carrots

1 cup corn (frozen, canned or fresh)

1 cup peas (frozen or canned)

1 cup leeks, sauteed

3/4 cup pickles

2 hard boiled eggs, diced (or 1 block tofu, diced and sprinkled with turmeric)

salt to taste

4 tb mayonnaise (regular or vegan)

All the veggies.

All the veggies.

1. To begin, prep your vegetables: scrub and peel the potatoes and carrots. When boiling the carrots, make sure to salt the water.

2. When the vegetables start to soften, take them off of the heat. Set aside to cool.

3. Boil the eggs, and set aside to cool.

4. Cook the peas and corn (if using frozen.)

5. While the potatoes, carrots and eggs are cooling, saute the leeks over medium heat.

6. Dice the pickles into small pieces.

Mixing: part 1.

Mixing: part 1.

7. When all the ingredients have cooled, dice them into small cubes, and mix in a large mixing bowl.

Mixing: step 2.

Mixing: step 2.

8. Add the mayonnaise, and salt and pepper.

9. Serve chilled, with diced beetroot and horseradish as a garnish.

 

 

Olivier Salad

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

3 medium sized potatoes, peeled and boiled

3 medium sized carrots

1 cup corn (frozen, canned or fresh)

1 cup peas (frozen or canned)

1 cup leeks, sauteed

3/4 cup pickles

2 hard boiled eggs, diced (or 1 block tofu, diced and sprinkled with turmeric)

salt to taste

4 tb mayonnaise (regular or vegan)

 

1. To begin, prep your vegetables: scrub and peel the potatoes and carrots. When boiling the carrots, make sure to salt the water.

2. When the vegetables start to soften, take them off of the heat. Set aside to cool.

3. Boil the eggs, and set aside to cool.

4. Cook the peas and corn (if using frozen.)

5. While the potatoes, carrots and eggs are cooling, saute the leeks over medium heat.

6. Dice the pickles into small pieces.

7. When all the ingredients have cooled, dice them into small cubes, and mix in a large mixing bowl.

8. Add the mayonnaise, and salt and pepper.

9. Serve chilled, with diced beetroot and horseradish as a garnish.

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4 responses to “Olivier Salad (vegan option)

  1. Pingback: The 12 Plates of Christmas | V 8 Mile·

  2. This definitely sounds like a welcome change of pace from the standard, drab potato salad. I love the sound of those colorful variations you mentioned, too. Something worth revisiting for the picnics of summer!

  3. Pingback: Exploring Ukraine: Green in Lviv | V 8 Mile·

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