Russian salad

Russian salad

Sałatka jarzynowa

Borsch, Vodka and Tears
4 as a side
Bonnie Savage

This is a simple Russian salad we serve at Borsch, though there are many variations, and all are ubiquitous throughout Eastern Europe. They frequently contain ingredients such as prawns, lobster, crab, sausages, poultry, truffles, capers, olives and any other number of things. The original salad that all Russian salads are based on is said to have contained grouse, caviar and veal tongue! Our chef, Simon, adds a little honey and sour cream to his version.


Quantity Ingredient
500g waxy potatoes, such as bintje, nicola or kipfler, cleaned but unpeeled
1 small carrot, peeled
1/2 small celeriac, peeled
40g cooked green peas
1/4 white onion, peeled and diced
1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored and diced
1/4 cup polish dill cucumber pickles, finely diced
1/2 teaspoon seeded mustard
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley


Quantity Ingredient

Sos majonezowy

Quantity Ingredient
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
200ml neutral oil, such as grape seed, canola or olive oil


  1. Put the whole potatoes into a large saucepan with some salt and enough water to cover. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20–30 minutes, or until just cooked through. Drain well and peel while they are still warm — you may need to use a small knife. Cut into 1 cm dice.
  2. Put the carrot and celeriac into a separate saucepan, cover with water and add plenty of salt. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20–30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender but still firm. Strain and set aside — you can use the cooking liquid as a base for a vegetable soup or similar. Cut the cooked vegetables into 1 cm dice and place in a large bowl with the potato, cooked peas, onion, apple and pickles.
  3. To make the mayonnaise, mix together all the ingredients, except the oil, in a bowl with a whisk, or use a food processor or blender.
  4. Put the oil in a pouring jug and start to add it, one drop at a time, until each addition is thoroughly incorporated into the egg mixture. As you progress, you can start to add the oil a bit faster — the sauce will thicken and turn white. By the time all the oil has been added the sauce should become quite stiff. If you want to use it for dipping or pouring you can thin it using a little water.
  5. Season with salt, a little pepper and vinegar, but remember that vinegar, being a liquid, will thin the mayonnaise. The mayonnaise will keep, tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
  6. In a small bowl, mix together the mustard, dill, parsley and mayonnaise. Add to the vegetables and gently mix to combine, being careful not to break the vegetables apart. I find that using two chopsticks held apart is very effective for this task. Check the seasoning, adding salt and black pepper if necessary.
  7. At Borsch, we like to pack some of this salad into a teacup and turn it out onto the centre of a plate. It holds its shape very well and makes a good centrepiece for a zakąski platter.
Vodka and Tears
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