Olivier salad

Olivier salad recipe

How to make Russian Olivier potato salad ingredients

The amazing Oliver salad is known worldwide, and in some languages it is simply called the Russian salad. Although the recipe is very simplistic – boiled diced vegetables and meat dressed with mayonnaise – the outcome is so delicious that in Russia it has become pop-culture and a must-have on a New Year table.

The original recipe of Olivier salad was far more sophisticated and was created by a Belgian chef Olivier Lucien who used to work in The Hermitage – one of Moscow’s most celebrated restaurants in 1860s.

Many people, including the chef’s personnel, tried to recreate the secret recipe formula but up to this day it remains a mystery wrapped in enigma. It is only known for sure that the ingredients were very exquisite and posh, and contained grouse, veal tongue, caviar, lettuce, crayfish tails, capers, and smoked duck. Not bad, huh? The original dressing was specially prepared mayonnaise with unknown proportions of French wine vinegar, mustard, and Provençal olive oil and some special sauce exported from England similar to Worcester sauce.

In the mainstream cuisine the rare and expensive ingredients were substituted with more readily available ones: grouse with bologna sausage, crayfish tails with boiled eggs, capers with pickled cucumbers and so on. You would think, oh, what sort of a recipe is that, when everything is substituted with something else. But hold your skepticism until you try this salad: the salad is so tasty that it became a pop culture hit in Russia!

Insalata russa in inglese ricetta originale olivier

Insalata russa – Russian Olivier salad in Italy

We give you 2 recipes – the first one is the classic and modern one, and the second recipe is a pretentious attempt to get as close to the original secret formula as possible.

Olivier – modern version


  • 2 potatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 eggs
  • 300 gr bologna sausage (Doktorskaya kolbasa) or cold meats
  • 1-2 pickled cucumbers
  • 1/5 can sweet peas
  • mayonnaise to taste


  1. Boil potatoes and carrots. Cool down and skin. Boil and peel eggs.
  2.  Dice potatoes, carrots, eggs, pickled cucumbers and bologna sausage into cubes of the same size.
  3. Add sweet peas and mayonnaise. Mix well.
  4. Serve cold.

*Later on in this recipe bologna started to be substituted with boiled meat, and pickled cucumbers with fresh ones beacause people could afford this products in winter. But the basic and cheaper Soviet version still remains just as popular.

Olivier salad “A la original”


  • 1/2 grouse fillet (or veal, quail or chicken)
  • 3 potatoes
  • 1 cucumber 
  • 3 leaves lettuce
  • mayonnaise to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon capers
  • 3-5 olives


  1. Boil, cool down and skin potatoes. Fry the grouse.
  2. Dice potatoes, cucumbers and grouse into cubes of the same size. Put into a bowl.
  3. Add capers and olives, mayonnaise and Worcestershire sauce.
  4. Mix well. Add salt and pepper if needed. Decorate with lettuce leaves.
  5. Serve cold.


Olivier Russian salad New Year Оливье пища богов

Rus: Olivier on any usual day is just so salad, Oliver at New Year’s night is the food of gods! (Think of UK roast dinner for Christmas, when usual Sunday food gets a sacramental flare 🙂 )


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