This is the recipe that, like borsht, is a staple in every family hailing from or still living in Ukraine or other former Soviet countries. This salad is made for holidays and family gatherings and just because you want to treat your family to
something simple yet very special.
Here's the basic recipe with noted possible variations - but really, you can change it to fit your preference almost any way you want. A friend of mine makes it with fresh cucumber instead of pickles and it is
awesome. Some folks put boiled carrot in. The basics are potatoes, meat, eggs and peas, the rest can be entirely up to you. I remember that in the leaner times my mom would make it with bologna instead of turkey or chicken breast, or almost-unattainable
seafood, but it always tasted like holidays.
6 medium or 4 large potatoes, boiled in skins, peeled and diced
6 hardboiled eggs, diced
½ can of peas, strained
½ lb smoked or
roasted turkey or chicken breast (or ½ lb of lump crab meat or craw fish tails), diced
4 large deli pickles, diced
Sweet Vidalia onion (small or half of large) , diced - optional
Salt, pepper to taste
Mayonnaise to dress
Prepare all ingredients. Make sure that the dice is consistent, otherwise the salad will look unappealing. Mix everything together, add salt, pepper, and dress with mayonnaise. The salad tastes best if done the day before,
but at the very least let it sit for a couple of hours to ‘marry’ the flavors.
Onions are optional for Olivie – my family is not very fond of them so I usually omit altogether or only use green onions finely diced for decoration.
My mother liked the crab/craw fish variation better so that was her go-to option.