The not-Russian, Russian Salad

From Food

As I'm cheering on team Canada while they pummel the Russians in the men's hockey quarter finals, I find it fitting to introduce you to one of my favourite potato salads: Ruska Salata.

Ruska Salata means "Russian Salad" in Serbian. "Come again?" Yes. It's not actually Russian. It's Serbian. Sort of like how French fries aren't French, and Pâté Chinois isn't Chinese.

I've seen a few variations of Ruska Salata, but the version I was introduced to involves potatoes (finely diced), carrots (finely diced), dill pickles (finely diced), and smoked ham (finely diced), all married generously with mayonnaise. I've seen recipes with peas or even eggs.

Here's your opportunity to improve your dicing skills. I still can't get the dices as small as they should be, but mine are about the size of Monopoly houses -- not the hotels: that would be far too large.

For the ham, I usually use deli meat: a nice black forest ham that I cut into mini squares. This time, I used roasted chicken breast because that's what we had in the fridge.

The potatoes and carrots came from the CSA box. One of my favourite things about the CSA box is the rustic, non-uniform shapes and sizes of the fruits and vegetables. We've gotten apples the size of our face, pears the size of a golf ball, and short, fat carrots that resemble the ammo in Super Mario 2 -- anything to make me smile as I dice and dice and dice away...

From Food

From Food

You can vary the amount of mayonnaise you use. I think it's a personal preference; I battle between my love of mayonnaise and my desire for a supermodel body. This week was a light-on-the-mayo version. We still think it's absolutely delicious!

Ruska Salata (the supermodel version)

2 large potatoes
3 medium carrots (or 2 Mario-2 sized carrots)
3/4 cup finely diced pickles
1/2 cup diced deli-sliced ham or chicken breast
1/2 cup mayonnaise

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Peel and finely dice the potatoes and carrots. When the water comes to a boil, generously salt and add the finely diced vegetables. Boil until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain in a colander and let cool slightly. Add pickles, deli-meat, and mayonnaise and mix until mayonnaise is well distributed. Add mayonnaise as desired. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

We love this salad. So much that I didn't remember to take a picture of the final product until there was barely a serving remaining. You might say I was "Russian" so much that I forgot to take a picture!

From Food

Unknown  – (March 12, 2010 at 4:27 PM)  

HAHAHA you are soooo funny!! :) I see the cheesy-ness runs in the Fong family!!
-Mil

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