My Mum’s Best Russian Potato Salad is a traditional Polish recipe, a firm family favourite and popular all year round. It’s great as an everyday recipe as well as special occasion dish to enjoy with family and friends.
The Christmas season is upon us (it somehow seems to start earlier each year!) and I am already thinking of potential dishes I will make this year. At the top of my list is My Mum’s Best Russian Potato Salad recipe. Now I realise this may seem like an odd choice for a Christmas dish, but for me it’s an integral part of Christmas cooking. My mum used to prepare this Polish potato salad for all sorts of occasions, including the festive season, family gatherings. (Or simply whenever she had leftover vegetables). So in my own house it’s become a firm tradition to always serve it at Christmas (as well as Easter actually).
Best Russian potato salad
Different versions of this potato salad exist throughout Europe (Eastern mainly, my instinct tells me). But for some reason it’s become known everywhere else as ‘Russian salad‘ (does anybody know what the reason is? I don’t). People in Poland call this salad either ‘vegetable salad’ or just ‘salad’. A bit odd but there you have it. I considered calling it ‘(Polish) potato salad’, but that name seems to apply to salads which contain large chunks of potato mainly. So that wouldn’t do.
My mum’s version of the Russian salad did not include canned peas, which many recipes call for. And I continue making mine also without the peas. What she used instead was finely chopped pickled gherkins and apple. These two ingredients really lift this salad and for me are as essential as the potatoes, the carrots and the eggs.
Healthy Russian potato salad
If the suggested amount of mayonnaise seems a bit excessive, well it isn’t really. This is because the proportions I used in the recipe make a large salad (6-8 portions). This salad would traditionally contain more mayonnaise but I replaced a portion of it with yogurt in order to keep the fat content down. So this is a pretty low fat, healthy Russian salad recipe.
How to make Russian potato salad
This recipe is quite straightforward, although there is a fair amount of chopping involved. But once that’s out of the way then all you have to do is combine all the ingredients and stir thoroughly. So it’s really simple. And your guests will be happy! This salad is always the most popular dish at family gatherings in my house.
You can give this Russian salad a more sophisticated look by chopping the vegetables into smaller pieces than I have done (see the photos). I get impatient and go for a more rustic look:)
What I really like about this salad, apart from the taste, is that you can make it ahead. It will taste better, in fact, once you’ve allowed it to chill for a few hours. And you can refrigerate it for a couple of days. So even if you make a big batch it will never go to waste. It is great as a party food idea, side dish, light lunch or satisfying snack anytime. I hope you enjoy it!
More potato salad recipe ideas
Here is a different kind of potato salad you might also like: Potato Salad with Mustard Dill Dressing
Check out also these potato salad deviled eggs recipe. It’s a fun and healthy, mayo free appetizer.
My Mum's Best Russian Potato Salad is a traditional Polish recipe, a firm family favourite, popular all year round, great as an everyday recipe as well as special occasion dish to enjoy with family and friends.
- 4 medium salad potatoes
- 2 medium/large carrots
- 4 eggs hard boiled
- 6 small pickled gherkins finely chopped
- 2 apples
- 5 tablespoons thick yogurt
- 5 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
Boil the potatoes and carrots until tender (don't overcook them!). Let cool a little, peel, dice and place in a large bowl. Peel and finely chop the eggs, and add them to the vegetables.
Peel the apples, cut into quarters, remove the cores and finely chop the apple. Add to the salad.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the mixture and stir carefully but thoroughly. Keep in the fridge for up to 2 days.
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