Russian salad recipe

By Tom Norrington-Davies

  1. Serves 4
  2. Ready in 1 hour
  3. Rating

Or, to give it the correct name, insalata russa. Spot the anomaly? This dish is Italian, not Russian, and as far as I can make out, the name simply refers to the inclusion of beetroot! I’d love to hear from anyone who knows otherwise. It’s great with poached salmon or rare roast beef.

tried and tested
Russian salad


  1. 2 medium or 4 small beetroot
  2. 2 or 3 waxy potatoes
  3. 100g fresh shelled peas
  4. 100g baby carrots
  5. ½ small cauliflower, picked into florets
  6. 100g green beans, sliced
  7. 3 large free-range eggs
  8. 2 dill pickled gherkins or a handful cornichons, diced
  9. 3 heaped tbsp mayonnaise (see separate recipe to make your own, or use a good bought one)
  10. Small bunch of fresh dill (optional)


  1. 1. Boil the beetroot in a pan of salted water for 20-30 minutes, until tender. Cool a little, then push the skins off with a thumb and forefinger, then cut into dice.
  2. 2. Meanwhile, peel and dice the potatoes to the same size as the beets. Boil in a pan of lightly salted water until tender. Allow the spuds and beets to cool completely.
  3. 3. Now blanch the peas, carrots, cauliflower and beans. Use the same pan in succession rather than several (it saves on washing up!) but blanch the cauliflower last, as it will flavour the water. Drain and cool.
  4. 4. Finally, cook the eggs in boiling salted water for 7 minutes. Plunge them into a bowl of cold water, then peel and halve.
  5. 5. Mix the pickle with all the vegetables and fold them into the mayonnaise in a bowl. Season and top with dill sprigs and the eggs.

Nutritional info

Per serving: 329kcals, 19.4g fat (3.5g saturated), 13.9g protein, 27g carbs, 7.4g sugar, 0.5g salt

Wine Recommendation

Very simple, unoaked whites work best – Italian whites such as Frascati or Pinot Grigio come out tops.


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October 29

This salad is ubiquitous in Russia and is known as Olivier. It does not always contain beetroot though. It can include ham or chicken. It is almost always part of any Russian buffet. I lived in Moscow for 3 years and am married to a Russian!

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