Salads come in many different shapes and forms. Some are light and simple, some are complex and filling. Many don’t even have any greens in them, although most do have vegetables, unless they are a fruit salad. It’s this last requirement for vegetables that makes this next dish technically a salad. Olivier Salad, also known as Russian Salad (Ruska Salata) in the parts of the world I grew up in, is the type of a salad you get to enjoy when you don’t have much access to fresh vegetables but have plenty of frozen, pickled or frozen vegetables on hand. And plenty of potatoes, of course.
Growing up, we used to make large bowls of this salad for every special occasion, and serve it as an appetizer. The traditional recipe uses boiled potatoes, carrots, and peas, as well as boiled ham and even eggs, and pickles – all finely diced and mixed with mayo and a bit of mustard. Serve this concoction with fresh bread, and you don’t need much more!
I’ve spruced up this recipe into an amazing vegan feast below by omitting the ham and eggs and using vegan mayo. My secret ingredients? Toasted sesame seeds and fresh dill!
I served this new take on the old favorite at a party recently and people of Russian, Brazilian and US origin all went crazy for it. I suppose deep down we all find messy flavors of mushy vegetables smeared in mayonnaise with hints of pickle juice comforting and lovable!
I hope you give it a try. Looking for one last insider tip? Try it with some corn bread – you will go bananas, I guarantee it!!!
Vegan Olivier “Russian” Salad with Toasted Sesame Seeds
What you’ll need:
- 2 15 oz (425g) cans peas and diced carrots (or 1 15 oz (425g) can each of sweet peas and diced carrots); you can also boil your own 1 1/2 cup finely diced carrots and the same amount of peas
- 3 14 oz (400g) cans whole white potatoes, or peel and boil two large potatoes until done
- 6-8 large kosher dill pickles (not sweet pickles – those will not work here!)
- 1 cup mayo (vegan)
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 cup toasted sesame seeds (toasted in a toaster oven or on the stove top – if using a stove top method please watch out and use a lid as seeds will start to “jump” out of the pan as they get heated
- 1 cup fresh dill, finely chopped
What you’ll do:
- Chop all the vegetables that need chopping (carrots, potatoes and pickles) finely. Place in a large mixing bowl, add mayo, mustard, toasted sesame seeds, and chopped dill. Mix together until combined and leave in the fridge for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.
- Serve with crackers, bread, corn bread or enjoy as is!
Copyright © Eat the Vegan Rainbow, 2019