This beloved salad was invented in Moscow by a French chef, Lucien Olivier, but only during the Soviet Union did it evolve into its final form. It has since become a classic, a holiday staple and an export – it exists in many countries under the name Russian Salad. This salad is so important, so momentous that it has become a brand, a trademark. The most delightful thing about olivie is that it’s an endlessly customizable thing. And so everyone has their own variation, which is, of course, the most correct and most delicious variation. Everyone has a different opinion on what goes into a proper olivie – what vegetables, even what meat. It can be made with veal, chicken or ham, but classic Soviet olivie is made with bologna, called doktorskaya kolbasa. This was a new sort of kielbasa, developed in 1936, inspired by American bologna but developed with 99% less fat and all natural ingredients, hence the name: doctor’s kielbasa.
- 3 potatoes (5 to 6 ounces each) boiled, skin on
- 4 eggs hard boiled
- 1 lb bologna
- 6 to 7 pickles (in brine, not vinegar!)
- 1 (15 ounce) can sweet peas
- ¼ of an onion finely chopped
- 3 tbsp Russian mayonnaise
- Let potatoes and eggs cool and peel them. Chop potatoes, eggs, bologna and cucumbers into ½-inch pieces or smaller and put into bowl.
- Drain liquid from peas, add them and onion to the bowl and mix.
- Add mayonnaise, salt if necessary and mix.
- If potatoes are still a little warm, refrigerate the salad for about 15 minutes before serving.