Friday, November 29, 2013

Insalata Russa

Graziana from Erbe in Cucina (Cooking with Herbs) is hosting both editions of Weekend Herb Blogging and this week I've made another Piemontese standard - Insalata Russa.

Insalata Russa is a cold salad of boiled potatoes, carrots and peas generously tossed through mayonnaise - in some versions you may see the addition of canned tuna - while a boiled egg garnish is quite common. A version I've particularly enjoyed has finely diced hard boiled egg whites lightly tossed through the salad.

insalata russa© by Haalo

Insalata Russa

potatoes, peeled and diced
carrots, peeled and diced
2 egg yolks, room temperature
1 teaspoon apple vinegar
250mls extra virgin olive oil
lemon juice, to taste
freshly ground sea salt and white pepper, to taste

The proportion of potatoes, carrots and peas is really up to you but the potato should be the major vegetable. It is important that the potatoes and carrots are cut evenly though I like to have the potato a little larger than the carrot.

The vegetables all need to be boiled separately until just tender - put them to one side to cool while you make the mayonnaise.

mayonnaise© by Haalo

While you could use a good commercial mayonnaise, I think it's best to make your own and this one is a little different in that I'm using extra virgin olive oil rather than a neutral seed oil.

To make the mayonnaise:

Place the egg yolks into a bowl, add the vinegar and a light grind of sea salt and white pepper. Using an electric mixer, start beating and once amalgamated start adding the oil, a drop at a time. Once you've added a tablespoon of oil and the mixture is emulsifying you can start to slowly drizzle the oil in a thin stream - the most important thing is that you don't stop beating the mixture.

Once you've added all the oil, drizzle in a little fresh lemon juice and then taste and adjust the seasoning as desired.

Store the mayonnaise in a sealable jar in the fridge if you aren't going to use it straight away.

To assemble the salad:
Place the boiled and cooled potatoes, carrots and peas into a bowl and then dollop in the mayonnaise a spoonful at at time - fold through and then keep adding the mayonnaise until all the vegetables are well coated.

You can serve this as a loose salad but for a more formal look, pack the salad into a plastic wrap lined bowl - cover and place in the fridge to set.

When ready to serve, turn out onto a plate.


  1. Oh, YUM. This is like American potato salad, but with the addition of carrots, it has a much broader appeal for me. And YES to the egg whites! How I wish it were coming upon summer here - freezing tonight, so I'll save this one for a few months! ☺

  2. I adore our local version of the Russian salad - it's one of the signs of the festive season c: .

  3. One of my favourite dishes. I posted on my blog 'The Good the Bad and the Italian' an Italian memoir about it and the controversy about its ingredients. Enjoy!


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