Russian Monday: Salad "Olivier" - Potato Salad

Even though in every Russian family Olivier salad is made in their own way with some secret ingredient, like grandma used to do it, let’s try to remember  where this dish came from and give thanks to the Russian chef of French origin named Lucien Olivier who invented the salad any New Years table seems empty without.

Famous salad Olivier has been coined by the chef Lucien Olivier in 1860s. Lucien has been not only cook, he also owned “Hermitage” restaurant at Trubnaya Square in Moscow. His restaurant could easily compete with any Parisian establishment. His crown dish was the famous salad nicknamed after him which recipe he kept in complete secrecy. After chefs passing story of his dish got surrounded by rumors and the recipe was considered lost. There were many attempts to find Olivier’s records, but nobody was able to do it.

In 1904 few chefs have recovered the recipe based on their knowledge of main ingredients. The following ingredients were on the list: pressed caviar (0.25 lbs), two grouses, veal tongue, boiled crayfish – 25 pc, soy – 0.5 can, 2 cucumbers, green salad leafs – 0.5 lbs, assorted pickled vegetables – 0.5 can, capers – 0.25 lbs, 5 hard boiled eggs. Sauce required French vinegar, two eggs and province olive oil (i.e. province mayo).

Now this salad is prepared based on many different recipes.

My recipe was very popular in St.Petersburg, it contains chicken or can be cooked with any other bird meat. Another name for this version of Olivier is “Capitol salad” (Stolichniy Salad). This dish is very popular it is an absolute favorite on every New Year feast table. Bon appetite and happy New Year!

For more Russian recipes, visit Russian Cuisine page.

Serves: 5-6


  • 5 medium yellow potatoes
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 3 eggs, hard boiled, peeled, chopped
  • 3 scallions, diced
  • 4 chicken thighs, cooked, no skin, very finely chopped (or other cooked bird meat)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can peas, drained
  • 3-4 small dill pickles, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • fresh dill (optional)


Place the potatoes and carrots (don't peel them) into a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and allow to steam dry for a minute or two. Let it cool. When the vegetables are cool, peel them and dice them into a large bowl.

Next step is easy, just add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Place the salad in a salad serving plate or individual glass bowls. Sprinkle with a fresh dill.


Bernadeta said...
December 29, 2014 at 12:21 PM  

nice. this is a typical Polish salad without chicken only.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...
December 29, 2014 at 12:48 PM  

This salad looks so good and wonderfully festive!

Best wishes for the New Year!



Rebecca Subbiah said...
December 29, 2014 at 5:29 PM  

wonderful happy new year

La Table De Nana said...
December 29, 2014 at 7:30 PM  

Our youngest grandson is named Olivier so I love this already..Looks wonderful Yelena..
Happy New year to you:)

sky_ dream said...
December 30, 2014 at 12:16 AM  

Прекрасный салат. Имея возможность сделать другие, возвращаюсь к нему.
Хочу поздравить Вас с наступающим Новым годом. Желаю здоровья, счастья и благополучия.

Te de Ternura said...
December 30, 2014 at 1:38 AM  

QUERIDA YELENA, me ha encantado tu ENSALADA de patata. El día de año nuevo voy a prepararla; pero ya que he dejado la carne atrás, la prepararé con salmón y creo que funcionará bien.
Un abrazo enorme:))))))

Anonymous said...
December 31, 2014 at 12:29 AM  

I hope you and your family had a lovely Christmas Yelena and that the New Year ahead is wonderfully prosperous and good to you :)

Zorica Pavlovic said...
December 31, 2014 at 1:52 AM  

I love this salad and we always make it for New Year celebration. Happy New Year!!!

This is it said...
December 31, 2014 at 3:27 AM  

I am busy making your Medovnik, and was just scrolling through your Russian recipes out of curiosity. The Medovnik is going really well BTW.

My Russian mother-in-law taught me to make this, mine is never as good as hers, but it's getting there. Its always a long production when she makes it - I think I lack her patience.

I see from your recipe that her ingredient list differs from your as she adds dark mustard and apples to her salad. But this salad is amazing in any form.

Angie Schneider said...
January 1, 2015 at 6:44 AM  

A marvelous salad! My potato salad has never looked so appetizing and pretty.
Happy New Year, Yelena!

La Table De Nana said...
January 1, 2015 at 7:30 PM  

Bonjour Yelena..

You can get the Norpro Jelly Strainer at

Dominique Allmon said...
January 2, 2015 at 3:32 AM  

A very healthy and happy New Year dear Yelena! Your blog is great inspiration for me! So many great recipes and great images!

With warm greetings - Dominique

Gwen said...
January 2, 2015 at 5:24 PM  

How interesting!! This is my idea of a perfect potato salad (can't stand the American version). I'm quite glad yours doesn't include veal tongue ;)

Mirta Porley said...
January 3, 2015 at 10:28 PM  

In Uruguay know this salad as " Russian salad" and eat all the time.Excellent information and delicious recipe

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