Russian Salad “Olivie” – Салат “Оливье”

Russian Salad Olivie-6If I had to name the most traditional Russian dish, it would be the “Olivie” salad. It used to be made for holidays, parties and other special occasions. New Year’s Eve is the biggest holiday of all, and “Olivie” would be on almost all the tables as the clock would strike midnight.

The ingredients are quite common and are pantry staples for most. It resembles a potato salad, of sorts, with the addition of other cooked vegetables and meat. In the original salad, cooked wild meat was used, but now most people use bologna or some other type of sausage meat. This is as traditional as the Thanksgiving turkey. One of the best advantages of making a big batch of “Olivie” is the leftovers the next day. All the components of the salad mingle and meld to create a hearty, comforting salad.

Yields: 10-12 cups

Ingredients:

3 small, medium potatoes

4 medium carrots

8 eggs

1 lb bologna

8 small pickles

1-2 small cucumbers

1 can (14-15 oz) peas

1 – 1/2 cups mayonnaise

1 small onion, optional

fresh chives, optional

Instructions:

Cook the potatoes with the carrots in a medium pot just until tender, 20-30 min, depending on the size of the vegetables. Cook the vegetables in their skins. Do not overcook; you don’t want a mashed potato and pureed carrot salad:).Russian Salad Olivie-1-8 
Hardboil the eggsRussian Salad Olivie-3
Drain the peas well. Cut the potatoes, carrots, eggs, pickles and cucumbers, if using, into small 1/4 inch dice. Russian Salad Olivie-4
Mince the onions finely, if using. (I don’t like raw onions, so I never put them in. Another option is to use chives or green onions.) Mix all the the ingredients with the mayonnaise. Russian Salad Olivie-5

Make Ahead:

Just like most potato salads, “Olivie” is made ahead of time. Sometimes, I chop all the ingredients and store them in the refrigerator and then add the mayonnaise a few hours before serving. This way, you will have your prep done a few days before the event.Russian Salad Olivie-6

Russian Salad "Olivie"
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sides
Cuisine: Russian
Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
  • 3 small, medium potatoes
  • 4 medium carrots
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 lb bologna
  • 8 small pickles
  • 1-2 small cucumbers
  • 1 can (14-15 oz) peas
  • 1 - ½ cups mayonnaise
  • 1 small onion, optional
  • fresh chives, optional
Instructions
  1. Cook the potatoes with the carrots in a medium pot just until tender, 20-30 min, depending on the size of the vegetables. Cook the vegetables in their skins. Do not overcook.
  2. Hardboil the eggs.
  3. Drain the peas well.
  4. Cut the potatoes, carrots, eggs, pickles and cucumbers, if using, into small ¼ inch dice.
  5. Mince the onions finely, if using. (I don't like raw onions, so I never put them in. Another option is to use chives or green onions.)
  6. Mix all the the ingredients with the mayonnaise.
Make Ahead:
  1. Just like most potato salads, "Olivie" is made ahead of time. Sometimes, I chop all the ingredients and store them in the refrigerator and then add the mayonnaise a few hours before serving. This way, you will have your prep done a few days before the event.

21 Comments

  • Larisa

    Just read this recipe and it made me crave some of this salad so bad. Haven’t made it in a long time. 🙂

    By the way, I love your site! Great Job!
    God bless,
    Larisa

  • Oksana K

    My hubby boiled potatoes and carrots last night without even saying a word, so i guess i’m making this salad today after work, lol! 😀 He did boil quiet a bit of those, so i might make olivie and shuba (since he boiled beets too, and bought seledka) :-p i wonder how do YOU make shuba? there are so many recipes out there, i haven’t seen one on your site.. yet. Hope you will post it one day 😉 Also, my whole life i did olivie with only picles, so now i want to try with cucumbers and picles!
    Thank you so much Olichka!!! <3

    • olgak7

      Wow! I guess he was craving some Russian salads:). Very smart of him.
      I’ll have to post my shuba recipe sometime. It’s definitely a classic.
      Here’s how I put it together:
      Seledka, a tiny bit of onions (not a big fan of raw onion, so I add only a smidge), potatoes, mayo, eggs, mayo, carrots, mayo, and top it off with beets. Another way is to place the seledka in the center, it turns out great! Potatoes, mayo,eggs, mayo, seledka, onion, carrots, mayo, and beets. I’ll put up step by step instructions sometime. I actually already took pictures of it and wrote out the recipe, but never posted it:).

      • Oksana K

        Thanks a lot for your reply, my olivie turned out to be soo good! the only difference was that i added fresh cucumbers per your recipe, and that make this difference HUGE! Sooooooooooo good! I’m glad i tried 😀
        So as far as shuba, yes, you do put it together differently and i’d like to try it your way too… Will wait for your post though, i want to see maybe you have a special technique on applying mayo, as it is such a hassle… 😀

  • milana

    THANK YOU for this recipe i loved it my hubby loved it too i use to do the same salad but different and i loving it

    GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY!!!!!

  • Alicia

    Hi Olga! I happened upon your blog while looking for a recipe for salad Olivier. Your blog is just beautiful, and my curiosity was piqued, so I read your “About” section and saw your adoption story. We adopted our beautiful sons from Russia (in 2003 and 2007), and my heart just breaks for families like yours whose dreams were crushed, and of course for all the kids who are left in orphanages there. I know you’ve moved on to foster care, and I pray that you are finding happiness, and hopefully a child to forever be yours. I, like you, just felt compelled to adopt. There was something so balanced about it, to me, to parent a child who already needs a parent, rather than just to create more children. God bless you and your husband. You are both adorable, and I can tell you’ll be wonderful parents. By the way, one of my very good friends, who also gave Russian lessons to my son for several years, is from Belarus, near Minsk. Small world! 🙂

  • lizzie

    When I was growing up my mom made Russian salad using diced beets instead of bologna. The salad has a beautiful pink color. Delicious.

  • Rose

    We are having a baby shower with about 60 people, half are from Russia. I am making American potato salad and Olivie salad. How much Olivie salad should I make?

    • olgak7

      That’s hard to say, Rose. It depends on how much other food you are going to be serving and if your guests will like the “Olivie” salad. I personally would make 3-5 times the amount of this salad, but like I said, it would depend on the people I was having at the shower and how many other food I was serving.

  • Peggy McNary

    My son-in-law is Russian (a naturalized American citizen now), so we make this traditional salad every New Year in honor of his beginnings. The salad is so much better if pickles cured in brine are used, rather than pickles cured in vinegar. Unfortunately, you might have to locate a Russian store or market with European food offerings to find them, but I highly recommend it! We also use chicken instead of game or hot dogs/sausage. Good stuff!

  • fritzi

    I made this exactly as posted. I used ring bologna, it was fantastic! Used more mayonnaise at table. Thank you for a great recipe. Your photos are gorgeous and so is that beautiful uniform dice.

  • Greg Buchanan

    Thank you so much for this recipe — just made a quadruple batch of it for an event at my college tomorrow but I fear that more than a little will have disappeared by then. Used a mix of sweet and sour gherkins and a mixture of ham, bolgona and olive loaf for the meats. It’s amazing and I’m shoveling it in my mouth as I type. Thanks again.

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