Olivier

Olivier

Daria Souvorova

1 hour
serves: 12-20

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The Russian corner! Olivier, Borscht, and Herring under its Fur! Yum!

We are on a roll with Russian recipes from our Domestic Union celebration, so here is another! This one belongs to my mom. She taught me this recipe when I was a kid. For every family gathering or celebration, we all gathered in the kitchen and chopped…we chopped up eggs, potatoes and carrots, pickles and cucumbers…it seemed like the chopping went on for hours, but Olivier was always ready by lunchtime as a snack while we cooked the rest of the meal.

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The feast!

There are dozens of versions of this salad. Since it is so popular, it has been made and altered by restaurants and home cooks for generations. It is said the original recipe was created by Lucien Oliver in the latter half of the 19th century. Olivier was the head chef of L’Hermitage, a famous french restaurant in Moscow at the time. At a certain point, the restaurant closed down and the true recipe continued to be a secret, but many versions began to be published to the masses. Thus we all still wonder what the real Olivier salad was like, but we love our own family creation. Usually, chicken or ham are combined into the salad, but we generally omit this since we make it as a side dish for a large cut of meat like the Herbed Roast Leg of Lamb that we served for our Domestic Union celebration.

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Well, it finally happened! Nico and I domesticated! I keep having to explain this to everyone. What is a Domestic Union? Well, it’s not quite marriage, but its official! Nico and I decided we wanted to share our health insurance and be able to visit each other in the hospital, but weren’t quite ready to figure out how to do our taxes together. And we get to throw ourselves a party, but don’t have to worry about any crazy ceremony.

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Everything we do here at Chez Nous is about bringing people together and building a community, last Sunday, we brought people together to celebrate our union, it was great! To commemorate our love of food and each other, we decided to cook French and Russian food, to reflect our heritage.  We didn’t want to worry about courses and serving our 50 guests, so everything went on the table at the same time, an epic buffet, as if from those old Russian royal fairytale feast illustrations from my Communist-era books.

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We served a lovely cheese array (Check out our Cheese Plate Guide here), and made a variety of pates including our our Baked Camembert with Porcini Mushrooms and Fig Jam, Duck Terrine with Shallot Jam, Olive and Almond Tapenade, and Sardine Riclettes. We served these beauties with some Olive Crisps and  French Baguette.

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Lisa loading up on our glorious Bouillabaisse. I was too scared to stain my dress, but saved myself a bowl for after the party!
Our French feast continued with three beautiful Quiche Lorraines cooked as tarts instead of pies, and a giant Potato Gratin, cooked completely by Nicolas from his own recipe. We also wanted to serve soup, one from both of our countries. A French Bouillabaisse with Rouille and a Russian Borscht served with dill and sour cream. The star of the evening was Roast Lamb, a dish that brings our cultures together! To celebrate my Russian upbringing, I made some of our most famous salads! We served a Seledka pod Shube, which translates to Herring under its Fur and the famous Olivier salad! Check back later this week for all of these recipes!

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Photograph by Rafael Soldi

We continued our celebration into the dessert course! We served our favorite Cannelés Bordelais, a traditional Russian Smetannik, our favorite Vanilla Cake with Raspberry Filling and Cream Cheese Frosting, and two extra large Crème Brûlées!

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Amazing photo by Rafael Soldi

Ingredients:

  • 12 eggs, hard boiled, small dice
  • 9 potatoes, boiled, peeled, small dice
  • 4-5 large carrots, boiled, peeled, small dice
  • 3 cups baby peas, canned, drained
  • 6 Persian or 2 English cucumbers, peeled, small dice
  • 6 dill pickles, small dice
  • 1-2 onions, small dice
  • 1 1/2 cups or so sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups or so mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper
  • dill for garnish

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    1. Once you are done with all the chopping, your work is mostly done!
      Simply combine all of the ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Congratulations! Great spread and a lovely recipe, a bit different from mine, but not much. Anyway, as you said, everyone has their own Olivier recipe. What’s a New Year party without Olivier salad, tight?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Yes, I made sure to mention that, almost everyone has their own version, but it is a national treasure!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Of course – everybody’s grandmother knew best! Your sounds delicious, though. 😻

        Like

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