This is the very first time we dedicate a full recipe post to a Russian dish. Quite possibly it will also be the last one. But why? Wasn’t this a website about Spanish gastronomy? Absolutely yes!
Invented by Russian chef Lucien Olivier back in 1860, this recipe set such strong roots in our country that we can safely claim it now as one of our most popular tapas dishes. It is so ubiquitous all over Spain, that most locals will show disbelief when you mention the Russian origin of this recipe.
This salad has been around our tables for decades. I still remember going for Sunday lunch at my grandma’s. Those sticky summer days when the temperature was so unbearably hot that most people wouldn’t even venture themselves onto the streets, preferring the much fresher air-conditioning at home or missing that, the indoor shading behind the blinds.
It’s on those days when Grandma would frequently treat us to a Russian salad. I remember it cold, fresh, almost alleviating… it was like a delicious and addictive homemade medicine against the heat. I loved it!
The great thing about this salad is how versatile it is. It can be eaten both as a starter or as a tapa, it admits plenty of variants in its composition and as long as you include potato, carrot and mayonnaise, the rest of the ingredients can be substituted by others you like better.
Have a go and be creative. Try replacing the tuna with smoked mackerel, crab meat or even chicken. Add white asparagus if you have some. Sweet corn is also a great option… The only important tip I would give you is to make a good homemade mayonnaise instead of using an industrial one. It will taste so much better!