Olivier Salad (Салат Оливье)

Salat OlivieThis is quintessential Russian salad, and an indispensable part of every New Year’s Eve table.  Since my first visit to Russia in 1987, I can remember being served this salad in various forms and combinations.  On New Year’s Eve 2012, we decided to make it for friends, and I searched my Russian cookbooks for a recipe.  Inevitably, Anya von Bremzen, in her classic Please to the Table, included a quirky variation from her childhood, made with shredded cabbage, which bears no resemblance to any salat oliviye I’ve ever tasted. The version from the Russian-language cookbook had no measurements — because what self-respecting Russian housewife would ever write down the amount of peas, carrots, ham, potatoes, and eggs she uses in a salad?  So I improvised based on the ingredients I remembered, and this version came out pretty well.  When I try it again, I might use a little less potato. Continue reading

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German Potato Salad

Potato SaladThis is one of my all-time favorite choices for a potluck or picnic.  As long as your audience will eat pork products, this will be a massive hit.  Thanks to America’s Test Kitchen for this recipe.  If possible, try to use a traditional cast-iron skillet, which will allow salty bits of charred bacon and caramelized onions to enhance the flavor. Continue reading