Russian Potato Salad

This salad was first served in Moscow in the 1860s, by Chef Lucien Olivier, and the recipe was a closely guarded secret. It is also called “Salade Olivier”, “Russian Salad” or “Sour Russian Potato Salad”. This classic dish has many variations. Here’s mine. I use the pickles found in Russian Tomatoes and Gherkins, but dill pickles will do. The garnish includes the tomatoes found in the same recipe, but fresh will do just as well.  It has a lot of ingredients, but it is fun to make.


russian potato


Russian Potato Salad



  • 1 1/4 pounds potatoes
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 ounces cocktail franks (or other similar)
  • 1 large sour dill pickle, cut into small dice or 2 tablespoons sour dill pickle relish, drained
  • 1/2 cup fresh peas or 1 cup frozen peas, cooked if desired
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, diced or 1/2 cup diced frozen carrot, cooked if desired
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard, Dijon preferred
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Optional Ingredients for Serving:

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill or 1 teaspoon snipped fresh dill
  • Boston lettuce leaf, washed and dried
  • 3 ripe black olives, cut in half
  • parsley sprig
  • 1 large ripe tomato, cut into small wedges
  • paprika


Boil potatoes in water until tender, about 20 minutes; let cool then peel and dice.

During last 10 minutes drop in eggs; add cocktail franks for last 5 minutes or so, drain and let cool.  Drop the eggs in an ice water bath to facilitate peeling.  Separate the yolks from the whites.  In a small bowl, mash the yolks.  Chop one of the whites and thinly slice the other for garnish.  The franks can be left whole or chopped.

In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, franks, pickle, peas, onions, carrot, capers, and chopped egg white.

In the bowl with the mashed yolks, add the mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard,  and lemon juice.  Season with salt and pepper.  Gently combine the dressing with the potato mixture, cover, and chill until serving time.

To serve:  Spoon salad on a bed of lettuce and surround with olives, tomatoes, egg white slices.  Scatter dill, parsley, and paprika.

Serves 4.


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