My last food entry for Sochi Opening Ceremonies tonight – the delicious Salad Olivier (pronounced [sa.lat oli.vje]). The salad was invented in 1860 by Lucien Olivier, the head chef of Hermitage, one of Moscow’s famous restaurants. The exact recipe for the dressing is still unknown. It was a form of Mayonnaise, however the exact ingredients and proportions died with the chef. The salad is a staple at every New Year’s celebration table, served with Champagne.
The following is my family’s recipe. This is a meatless recipe because I serve it as a side dish to already full table, but you can add ham to it if you like. With ham*, it’s pretty much a whole meal in its self. The original recipe featured smoked dusk as a protein.
The whole recipe is done by touch, no real measurements.
Equal parts of:
Boiled Red Potatoes
Boiled Whole Carrots
Boiled Whole Eggs
Whole Pickles (the good crunchy kind from the deli)
1 can Sweet Peas
¾ C Fresh Dill, chopped (at least)
Mayo (the real fat stuff)
Salt/Pepper to taste
Boil Potatoes (with skins), Carrots, and Eggs. Cool completely. Shell the Eggs. Gently peel the skin off Potatoes (I boil everything the night before and then peel Potatoes right out of the fridge the next morning, that way the skin comes off easy and when you dice the potato it stays nice and firm).
Get a bowl that is at least twice the volume of your ingredients so you're not spilling everything out when mixing. Dice Potatoes into ½” cubes (a dicing tool might be helpful, but make sure it’s ½”). Dice Eggs, Carrots, and Pickles to match the Potatoes. Add Peas, drained thoroughly. Add Dill. Add Pepper. Start mixing, and add Salt a little at a time. Because Pickles are salty already you don’t want to over salt. Add Mayo, enough to coat everything nicely so it stays together but not dripping with Mayo (when you spoon out the salad to serve, it should be silent, not make the slurping noise of an over-dressed potato salad). Taste, add more salt if necessary. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
It will last in the fridge for a couple of days, but not too long.
*If adding ham (or smoked duck): Ham needs to be patted dry, and also diced into ½’’ cubes. Add before peas. Do not use honey ham.