Russian Salad

Russian Salad

This is a dish for which there are as many recipes as there are people who make it.  Some people boil the vegetables first and then chop them – I find it easier and quicker to cook them chopped.  The Spanish way is to slightly overcook the vegetables so that they collapse somewhat on mixing.  Also in Spain it seems to be common to use some tinned or bottled vegetables (e.g. peas) and I quite like the result when done that way.  This gains enormously in flavour from being kept overnight in the fridge.

500g/1 lb. new potatoes
2 carrots
250g/½ lb. French beans
120g/¼ lb. peas
small can beans (e.g. haricot, cannellini or black-eyed)
small can corn
2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp chopped capers
3 tbsp. mayonnaise
salt and pepper
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
2-3 eggs
1 small can tuna, drained and flaked or cooked ham or chicken

  1. Reserve a few pieces of each vegetable as garnish
  2. Boil the eggs for 10 minutes
  3. Put them in lots of cold water to cool down a bit
  4. Remove them from the shells
  5. Leave to cool completely
  6. Cut the potatoes into thick chips and then dice the chips.  Finely dice the carrots (I like them really fine, about the size of peas.)
  7.  Chop the French beans in pieces the same size as the carrots and potatoes.
  8.  Boil the diced potato in a saucepan for a few minutes.
  9. Add the carrot
  10. Bring back to the boil for a few more minutes
  11. Add the chopped French beans
  12. After another minute add the peas
  13. When the potatoes are well cooked remove from the heat
  14. Leave to stand until cold.
  15.  Drain and leave to cool in a large bowl
  16.  Add the drained beans and corn and the flaked tuna if using.
  17. Pour on the wine vinegar and olive oil mixing well to coat thoroughly
  18. Add the capers and parsley, chopped egg whites and enough mayonnaise to bind the mixture loosely
  19. Tip into a pretty serving bowl and smooth the top, or form into a mound on a platter.
  20. Decorate the top and sides with more mayonnaise and assorted vegetables (but I don’t usually bother, if I’m honest!)
  21. Sprinkle sieved egg yolks over top (again if you can be bothered).
  22. Serve cold

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