Vegetarian Russian Potato Salad

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Restaurant Rijsel in Amsterdam is always packed, not just because of their excellent service, heavenly wine selection, and famous baked potatoes, but most of all because of their delicious Russian potato salad, which you can order as a starter. This lowly salad is everyone’s guilty pleasure. When buying it at a gas station many of us tend to obscure our container of Russian potato salad with a newspaper and a bottle of mineral water. But in this restaurant you can be up front about it.

Now, I’m going to flat-out profess my love for the Russian salad. Of course it traditionally contains cold meat stew or ham, but since we want to keep everyone at the table happy, I will omit the meat here. Just as delicious. In the end it’s all about the generous dollop of home made mayo.

Thanks to Chef Iwan, who decided to place this salad on the menu, and told me that it quite simply is a top dish that should be a staple on every holiday dinner table.

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Ingredients

For the Salad

  • pounds (800 g) firm cooking potatoes, peeled, larger ones halved
  • 5 carrots, peeled
  • 3 cups (400 g) frozen shelled green peas
  • ¼ cup (40 g) minced pickled onions or cornichons
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 1 tart apple, finely diced

For the Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon coarse mustard
  • 1 tablespoon fine mustard
  • 6 tablespoons (90 ml) home made mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons crème fraîche
  • ½ bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method

Prepare

Cook the potatoes in boiling water until al dente, about 20 minutes, adding the carrots after 10 minutes and the peas after 15 minutes because they need to cook only very briefly. Drain, rinse with cold water, and let cool. Cut the potatoes into small cubes and the carrots into thin slices. Mix with all the other ingredients for the salad.

Combine the ingredients for the sauce and add several dollops of sauce to the salad, making it smooth and creamy. Save the remaining sauce for serving.

You can finish the Russian potato salad now or cover and refrigerate for later use.

Make

Spoon one scoop of potato salad onto each plate and garnish with the lettuce leaves and hard-boiled eggs. Pour some extra sauce over the salad and garnish with a cornichon. Sprinkle with pepper and serve.

For the Garnish

  • About 2 heads Little Gem lettuce
  • 4 to 5 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
  • 6 small sour pickles or cornichons
  • Freshly ground black pepper