We could not excuse getting through this month without preparing Russia’s favourite salad: Olivier!
Nation of the Month February 2018
We’ve been doing Nation of the Month in our house for a year now! And that’s how long it took the spinning globe to land on the largest country in the world. One funny trend that has emerged over the past year is that, more frequently then not, we tend to land on a country that shares a region if not a border with our previous Nation of the Month. And it’s happened again! They don’t share a border, but we only had to make a quick sail across the Caspian Sea (or a zip up through Kazakhstan) to get from Turkmenistan, our last Nation of the Month to Russia.
Russia consumes more mayo per capita than any other country in the world. And exactly what are they doing with all that mayo? Well, largely, using it to dress Olivier Salad!
Traditionally made with meat, this favourite dish of many Eastern European countries underwent a few significant changes on it’s journey to our table.
The ultra-rich and ever-trendy avocado is featured instead of the usual poultry or uber-processed carcinogenic bologna. And I borrowed a note from fellow Vegan Chef Victoria Logunova and included sun-dried tomatoes.1 These bring a great boost of flavour to the party!
Russia born and based, Vika is creator of her own veg*an recipe website and blog, Vegelicacy.com which makes her one of our great inspirations as we celebrate Russian culture and cuisine all February long!
When and Where to enjoy Olivier
So… Basically it’s potato salad.S
…She observed when I presented her my finished Russian masterpiece. Well, yeah, I guess it is. S went on to observe that she felt like the only unusual or unexpected ingredient was the peas. She did like it, but she said she would enjoy it most on a hot sunny day. To her, as a potato salad with it’s own flair, it’s ideal summer picnic food. I totally get that.
By contrast, Olivier is an indispensable part of Russian New Years Eve Dinner, right in the height of winter! Maybe the moral of the story is you can eat Olivier Salad anywhere and any time you want? It’s bordering on an oxymoron, but I’ve categorised this one as a Summer and New Years Eve recipe.
The real miracle here was that both of our children really liked it! They both tucked into their Vegan Olivier like they hadn’t been fed in days (though the eldest only after a reluctant tensely suspenseful first bite) Dicing things small and slathering them in a creamy dressing is a great way of tricking kids into eating a few vegetables! (Also known as the Coleslaw Hack.)
Healthy Plant-Based Olivier Salad Recipe
The other key difference in this Olivier Recipe is it ditches the conventional mayonnaise dressing in favour of our much healthier Cashew Cauliflower Mayo, a wholesome blend of raw Cashews and Cauliflower that is rich, creamy, delicious, and nutritionally superior! It’s a simple 2 minute recipe, so be sure to try it out! Just remember to soak your Cashews in advance.
Vegan Olivier Salad
- 3 medium Potatoes, peeled and diced
- 2 small Carrots, peeled and diced
- 160g Garden Peas
- 1 Avocado, peeled and diced
- 1/2 White Onion, diced
- 50g Pickled Cucumbers, diced
- 4 Sundried Tomatoes, diced
- 100g Diced & Spiced “Cashew Cauliflower Mayo” (link below!)
- 5g Vegan Worcestershire Sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- Once your Potatoes and Carrots are peeled and diced, put them in a pot with plenty of water and bring to a boil. Cook them over medium heat, checking them after ten minutes.
- Meanwhile, dice the Avocado, Onion, Pickles, and Sundried Tomatoes.
- Within 10-15 minutes the diced Potatoes and Carrots should be the perfect consistency; soft enough to easily pierce with a fork, but still having a bit of “bite”. Drain and rinse them with cold water to stop them from cooking further. Chill your cooked veg.
- When they are cool enough, add the rest of your diced ingredients to the Potatoes and Carrots. Dress the salad with our Cashew Cauliflower Mayo, a splash of Vegan Worcestershire (one without anchovies) and Salt. Enjoy!
Cashew Cauliflower Mayo Recipe at DicedAndSpiced.com/Cashew-Cauliflower-Mayo (Of course you can go ahead and use any other Vegan Mayo here, but we really encourage you to try out the tasty healthy Cashew Cauliflower alternative!)
Can we make “Chill your cooked veg!” a thing? “OMG, you categorised this recipe as a Summer and New Years Eve recipe?!?!” “Yeah, I did, chill your cooked veg.”