This Russian Potato Salad also known as Salat Olivye has always been one of my favorite Russian salads. Olivier Potato Salad is a Russian-style meaty potato salad. When I traveled to Russia as a young adult I loved ordering Olivier Salad because I loved the taste and it cost no more than 50 cents. That was a great deal for me as a student and a twenty-something year old trying to save my money for excursions in a foreign country. Eating this potato salad with a side of piroshki (filled hand pies) or a bowl of borscht was a big treat for me and inexpensive. It’s a great potato salad to enjoy at a holiday feast, summer gathering or just a party side as a different type of potato salad.
What is Olivier Salad?
Olivier salad is named after a Belgian chef in Moscow who created it in the 1860’s at a restaurant called Hermitage. The original Olivier salad is nothing like the modern version. The original ingredients for Olivier salad were very expensive. This modern version of Olivier salad came to be in the Soviet era with cheaper ingredients. Today’s version is more like the basic meat and potatoes type dish like a lot of Russian cuisine. Here’s a great little article about the salad’s history.
Olivier Variations- Ukrainian or Russian Potato Salad
This potato salad is often made with chicken, but I’ve always preferred the ham steak version. Olivier salad is primarily Russian or Ukrainian and there are slight variations depending on the home or restaurant. Every version of this potato salad has a meat of choice, potatoes, hard boiled eggs and peas. The variations are with onion, cucumbers and maybe sour cream instead of mayonnaise. The meat may also be bologna, but I’m not really a fan of that mystery meat…
I first enjoyed this Russian potato salad on my first overseas trip to the Soviet Union in 1991. This salad was served in many restaurants while I worked there in the 1990’s. I enjoyed all sorts of variations, some more than others, but all in all a very satisfying, filling and delicious salad.
Give this creamy, delicious, satisfying Russian potato salad a try and let me know what you think! Priyatnogo Appetita! (Bon Appetit)
If you like ethnic potato salads here’s another recipe you might like: