Close relative to Spanish ensalada rusa it combines cooked potatoes, other veggies we happen to have handy, herbs (mostly dill) and mayo based dressing. It often gets made when I have some veggies left over after making large pot of beef , chicken or vegetarian soup stock. Meat gets fished out for some application, and you are left with some classic stock vegetables like carrots, parsnip, celeriac (leaks and savoury cabbage are not useable after simmering for hours), the opportunity to start building a salad just forces itself on you. On the other hand some people enjoy eating boiled soup vegetables just as they are, in the soup…
My approach to it is free format – make it with whatever happens to be available, and adjust dressing to whatever tastes good today. If the aim is to make a self-standing salad dish (lunch?) one can easily add chopped hard boiled eggs..
The important thing is to make the basic mix one day ahead of the serving time. In the fridge it ripens well, final spicing adjustments can be made at the last moment.
An example of one successful configuration:
- Six large potatoes (they were Yukon golden this time), boiled and chopped into small chunks
- Set of vegetables rescued from stock-making (often 3 small carrots, 2 parsnips, piece of celeriac), boiled and chopped
- Handful of green olives (black could do well too), sliced
- Some marinated little mushrooms (if you do not have a private home made supply, Italian deli carries a wide variety of marinated mushrooms)
- Large handful of dill, chopped
- Dijon mustard
- a spoonful of lemon juice
- salt, freshly ground pepper
- Chop what needs to be chopped – all veggies should be in compatible small pieces.
- Mix all the ingredients; make sure all veggies are well covered by the sauce, cover and place in the fridge for overnight or at least good few hours.
- Take out of the fridge and allow it to reach home temperature before checking the spices just before serving.
Other variations of the same theme may include chopped apples, beans, petit pois, chicken or other leftover meat, herring, hard boiled eggs, fresh celery, etc., etc., etc. Just make sure there is enough sauce (so that the stuff is not dry) and spices are well balanced.