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Simple Insalata Russa (Italian Russian Salad)

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The controversial Insalata Russa is an Italian style recipe of, as you can imagine, an originally Russian salad.

It is a creamy, sharp and crunchy cold coleslaw with carrots, potatoes, peas and a delicious 5-minute homemade mayonnaise that you can make yourself and served as an aperitivo to start a meal, as a side dish or over a sandwich or with Italian bread.

Insalata Russa

Now let’s go back to the origins of the Insalata Russa and why the contention around it. In fact, it has many names and versions. The Russians will call it Olivier or Olivye Salad, but it was the Germans and Danish who defined this salad as Italian salad and thanks to our Russian friends this turned into a very popular salad in Italy and you will find it in pretty much any supermarket.

This is a gluten-free dish and can also be turned into a vegan recipe. (See Variation section).

Watch how to make this recipe!

Ingredients

For the salad

  • 2 large carrots, washed, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes (1 ½ cups)
  • 1 medium white potato, washed, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes (1 ½ cups)
  • ½ tbsp white wine vinegar
  • ⅔ cup frozen peas
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 2 eggs, boiled, chopped into ½-inch cubes
  • Fresh parsley chopped, to taste (optional)

For the homemade mayonnaise

  • 2 very fresh egg yolks, at room temperature (see notes)
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 ¼ cup (300 ml) vegetable oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Italian Russian Salad

Cooking Time

  • Cooking: 15 minutes
  • Preparation: 40 minutes
  • Total time: 55 minutes

Servings

  • 4 servings

Equipment

  • Sieve

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Russian Italian SaladInstructions

  1. Bring a medium pan filled with water over high heat to boil.
  2. Place the mayonnaise oil in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  3. Add the carrots and potato cubes to the water and boil for 5-8 minutes until fork-tender, but still firm. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Reserve the pan with water to cook the eggs later.
  4. Pour ½ tbsp vinegar over vegetables and toss to coat. Leave to cool.
  5. Bring the pan with water back over high heat. Once boiling carefully add the eggs with a spoon and cook for 9 minutes. Once cooked, peel the eggs under running water and chop the eggs into cubes and add to the bowl with veggies.
  6. To make homemade mayonnaise, remove the oil from the fridge, crack the whole egg into a blender jug, add all ingredients except the oil and blend to mix.
  7. While blending, mount the mayonnaise by adding the oil drizzling slowly to incorporate into the egg mixture. You may not use all of the oil. Stop immediately once it reaches a creamy yet firm texture of the mayo.
  8. To the veggies bowl, add capers and ½ cup of mayonnaise to coat. Toss gently just to combine.
  9. Cover the bowl with a lid or a layer of plastic cling film and refrigerate for at least 1h before serving.

Top Tips

  • Store the mayonnaise in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • Eggs – When making homemade mayonnaise, always choose the freshest eggs you can find, properly stored, clean grade A or AA with intact shells to minimize the risk of Salmonella poisoning. If you prefer to use store-bought mayo, just skip steps 6 and 7.
  • Broken mayo – Not everything is lost if you break your mayonnaise: Just add about 1 teaspoon of mustard to a bowl and slowly beat the broken mayo into the mustard until emulsified.
  • For the finest results, make sure to cut the vegetables the same size, so everything cooks evenly.

Insalata Russa

How to serve

  • Italian bread 
  • On top of sandwiches
  • As a side dish or starter

Storage

Insalata Russa will keep well in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. Not suitable for home freezing.

Variations

Can be easily turned into a vegan dish, just remove the eggs and replace mayo for vegan mayonnaise.

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insalata russa

Simple Insalata Russa (Italian Russian Salad)

Evelyn Motta
It is a creamy, sharp and crunchy cold coleslaw with carrots, potatoes, peas and a delicious 5-minute homemade mayonnaise that you can make yourself.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people
Calories 768 kcal

Equipment

  • Sieve

Ingredients
  

For the salad

  • 2 large carrots washed, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes (1½ cups)
  • 1 medium white potato washed, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes (1½ cups)
  • ½ tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • cup frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoon capers
  • 2 eggs boiled, chopped into ½ inch cubes
  • Fresh parsley chopped optional

For the homemade mayonnaise

  • 2 very fresh egg yolks at room temperature*
  • 2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 300 ml vegetable oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Bring a medium pan filled with water over high heat to boil.
  • Place the mayonnaise oil in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  • Add the carrots and potato cubes to the water and boil for 5-8 minutes until fork-tender, but still firm. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Reserve the pan with water to cook the eggs later.
  • Pour ½ tbsp vinegar over vegetables and toss to coat. Leave to cool.
  • Bring the pan with water back over high heat. Once boiling carefully add the eggs with a spoon and cook for 9 minutes. Once cooked, peel the eggs under running water and chop the eggs into cubes and add to the bowl with veggies.
  • To make homemade mayonnaise, remove the oil from the fridge, crack the whole egg into a blender jug, add all ingredients except the oil and blend to mix.
  • While blending, mount the mayonnaise by adding the oil drizzling slowly to incorporate into the egg mixture. You may not use all of the oil. Stop immediately once it reaches a creamy yet firm texture of the mayo.
  • To the veggies bowl, add capers and ½ cup of mayonnaise to coat. Toss gently just to combine.
  • Cover the bowl with a lid or a layer of plastic cling film and refrigerate for at least 1h before serving.

Notes

*Eggs - When making homemade mayonnaise, always choose the freshest eggs you can find, properly stored, clean grade A or AA with intact shells to minimize the risk of Salmonella poisoning. If you prefer to use store-bought mayo, just skip steps 6 and 7.
Keyword insalata russa, italian russian salad, italian salad, russian salad

 



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