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Stolichnyi Salat Or Salat Oliv'ye

Russian Salad
Stolichnyi Salat Or Salat Oliv'ye

This famous Russian salad is actually the brainchild of a French chef, Olivier, who caused a sensation in Moscow in the 1860s when he concocted a salad of cooked chicken and potatoes masked with mayonnaise. For many years the matrons of Moscow society vied with one another in hiring Olivier as chef for their elaborate banquets, and his restaurant, 'Olivierís Hermitage', remained in vogue well into the 1890s. Since Olivier's initial inspiration, Russian Salad has evolved into the complex combination of meat and vegetables that is served today. Its close cousin is Salade Bagration, named after Prince Pyotr Bagration who led his Russian troops to victory over Napoleon at Eylau, and which is made with boiled macaroni instead of potatoes.


Ĺ Lb (225 g) cooked chicken, in bite-sized pieces
2 lb (900 g) boiling potatoes
1 large carrot, scraped
2 tart apples, cored and chopped, but not peeled*
1 orange, peeled and cut into chunks
2 whole spring onions, chopped
4 oz (120 g) freshly shelled peas
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
8 tablespoons mayonnaise
8 tablespoons soured cream
Salt, freshly ground white pepper to taste
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 tablespoons soured cream
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
3 hard-boiled egg yolks
2 tablespoons olive oil
Fresh parsley or dill

* either red or green apples may be used, but the red will add more colour to the salad.


Serves: 8


Boil the potatoes in salted water until just tender; drain and peel. While still warm, cut them into chunks. In a separate pot boil the carrot until just tender; drain and cut it into rounds, setting a few rounds aside for the garnish. Boil the peas in salted water for 5 minutes; drain.

Peel the orange and remove all of the white membrane. Cut the orange into 1 in (2.5 cm) chunks. Chop the apples and spring onions. Mix all the vegetables and fruits with the cooked chicken in a large bowl.

Prepare the dressing. Press the hard-boiled egg yolks through a fine sieve. Mix in 2 tablespoons olive oil until a smooth, creamy paste is formed. Stir in 2 tablespoons vinegar, and 8 tablespoons each of mayonnaise and soured cream. Season to taste. Pour over the warm vegetables and chicken in the bowl, and toss to mix thoroughly. Turn the salad into a clean bowl and chill, covered, overnight.

To serve, form the salad into a high mound on a decorative platter. Mix together the remaining mayonnaise, soured cream, olive oil and vinegar. Pour this dressing over the top of the mound so that it cascades down the sides. Garnish the salad with the leftover carrot rounds and with fresh parsley or dill.

Note: The ingredients for this salad may be varied. Try substituting fresh peaches for the oranges, or crab meat for the chicken.

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