After visiting Valencia recently (more on that later this MoFo!) and seeing Russian salad occurring at a couple of vegan restaurants, I had a sudden urge to make it once I returned home. After all, it not only fits with today's MoFo prompt of 'Something Different – Cook a cuisine you’ve never tried before. Or, one you don’t make often enough' because I can't say I often cook Russian food.
I also thought it would make a good student-friendly recipe for this MoFo because it mainly uses the sort of vegetables and other bits and pieces that you'd find around most student houses. I used fresh peas for this recipe, but frozen peas are just as good.
Russian salad was apparently invented by a Belgian chef called Lucien Olivier, and also goes by the name of Olivier's salad accordingly. Invented back in the 1860s, the original recipe has evolved a lot since then -- I've eaten Russian salads with peppers, capers, and dill in. You can see why it's still a popular dish over 150 years on -- it's simple, versatile, comforting, and pretty darn tasty. Everyone has their own version, and this is mine!
This recipe can be made suitable for a six-food elimination diet by using Follow Your Heart's Soy-Free Vegenaise. I think I've seen it on sale in bigger Whole Foods in London. If you're on a six-food elimination diet and nowhere near a Whole Foods (that's most people then!), just use your favourite salad dressing instead.
Vegan Russian salad recipe
Makes one large bowl
200g new potatoes or otherwise waxy-type potatoes, chopped into small dice
50g carrots, chopped into small dice
30g green beans, topped and tailed, and cut into 1cm to 2cm lengths
3-4tbsps vegan mayonnaise, or to taste
Small handful of chopped parsley
How you do it
Bring a pan of salted water to the boil.
Add the new potatoes, cover the pan, and turn the heat up til the pan's boiling again.
At that point, lower the heat til the pan is simmering and leave for six minutes.
Add in the carrots, and once the pan is back to a simmer, leave for eight minutes,
After that, add the green beans and peas, and leave for two to three minutes, or until the beans are cooked.
Then drain all the vegetables, and refresh in cold water.
Once the veggies are cool, dry them off with a clean tea towel.
Then add your gherkins, parsley if you're using it, and mayonnaise. 3 to 4tbsps of vegan mayonnaise will give you a dressing that's more of blanket than a duvet for your veggies, so if you want a thicker dressing, increase your mayonnaise accordingly.