As a child I lived in a very diverse neighbourhood in an even more diverse city. Thanks to this, I was exposed to a lot of different cultures and foods from a very early age. One of these was what we called Russian Salad which I later came to learn as an adult is also called Olivier Salad. This salad along with most things Russian (tsars, tsarinas, babushka dolls) was introduced to me by our Russian trained medical doctor neighbour, whose two daughters quickly became my childhood best friends when they moved in next door. Naturally we spent a lot of time at each others’ house; our front doors literally faced each other. Anyway back to the salad, one of my earliest childhood memories was of my friends and I helping their mum to make the Russian salad which we absolutely loved! I tried re-creating it from memory with a few extra ingredients that I came across on YouTube. The ingredients that I could remember from my childhood were mayonnaise, boiled eggs, garden peas, cubed carrots and potatoes and corn/sweet corn. I didn’t come across any corn in all the videos I watched while trying to recreate this recipe but like all the YouTubers I watched said, everyone has their own twist to the Russian salad, so maybe corn was my friends mum’s own twist to it. All other ingredients remained constant in all the videos of the Russian ladies I watched preparing this salad, however the one thing they added that I honesty do not recall from my childhood, was some type of sausage or ham and pickled cucumbers.
This is my recreation of one of my favourite childhood salads. I used;
· One large peeled and boiled potato cubed
· One large peeled and boiled carrot cubed
· Half a cup of boiled garden peas (you can use canned if you like)
· Half a cup of canned sweetcorn (you can use regular corn)
· One large hardboiled egg cubed
· Half a cucumber cubed that I pickled overnight for about 16 hours
· One ready to eat sausage that I browned slightly before dicing
· A generous helping of mayonnaise.
· A pinch of salt and paprika for seasoning
I boiled the garden peas, egg, potato and carrot, in one pot adding and removing ingredients as needed in order of their boiling time. Once cooled, I mixed everything together then added mayonnaise. It tasted just as I recalled from my childhood with the added tanginess from the pickled cucumber.
|Before I added mayonnaise|
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