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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Beef and Root Vegetables Salad (Russian Salad Variation) | You've Got Meal!

This dish is a version of a mayonnaise-folded salad that is extremely popular in Eastern-Europe and in post-soviet countries. It is usually prepared during the winter, for special occasions like Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve. It is  a great recipe for winter because it uses meat, potatoes, root vegetables and pickles, so all ingredients were and are easy to find during winter. This version is most similar to the Romanian version, that has a fancy, French name "salata de boeuf", although the inspiration is not French, but Russian, from Salad Olivier  or Russian Salad. As popular as it is, everybody seems to have their own version. Some use chicken breast, some beef, some don't even use meat, some add peas, some are totally against peas...Being such a simple salad, it is delicious in any way.

I think is that delicious because it has everything it needs: the meat, the neutral taste (potatoes), the sweet (carrots and parsnip) and the sour (pickled cucumbers). It can be useless to give exact measurements, it all comes down to preferences, but usually you will need relatively equal quantities for the four components above.  All that topped with delicious home made mayonnaise.


  • 400 g beef meat
  • 5 potatoes
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 parsnip
  • 4-5 pickled cucumbers
  • home made mayonnaise made from 1 yolk
  • salt

  1.  Boil the meat and the boiled vegetables separately. 
  2. Dice the meat and the vegetables. Dice small the pickled cucumbers and squeeze the pickles to remove some of their juice, or the salad will be too watery.
  3. In a bowl, place all the diced ingredients, add salt to taste and  mix them.
  4. Add mayonnaise to the diced ingredients and toss and mix well. Always taste, you might not need to add all the mayo.
  5. By now, you can traditionally place the salad in a pretty bowl and cover with another layer of mayonnaise (optional). It can also be decorated with hard-boiled eggs or vegetables.
  6. Decorated or not, it is delicious served chilled as a spread, as an appetizer on crusty bread or salad leaves, or even as a side dish for fried or grilled meats.


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