A Russian salad is not that different from a good old American potato salad. It’s made with potatoes, carrots and green peas dressed with mayo.
Similarly to potato salad, there are thousands different recipes for Russian salad (which, by the way, goes also by the name of Olivier salad).
I interviewed some of my Russian/Eastern European friends and every single one had his/her secret family recipe. The differences can be quite dramatic. Which is very confusing.
The main variations include pickles, beets, turnip or apples. The dressing can also change. Some replace mayo with sour cream or yogurt or a combination of the two.
In this Russian salad “mayhem”, I decided to create my own version. So I went vegan. Just to try to stand out from the crowd.
What I got in the end was a delicious, vegan, healthy, low in calories and cholesterol free Russian salad. Which is also so easy to make.
I subbed the mayo with cannellini beans pureed with some olive oil and water. Less fat, no cholesterol, and 100% vegan!
What I like about this salad is that with an impressive amount of fibers it quickly fills you up with all of its goodness.
All in all, a perfect dish if you’re looking to cut calories without sacrificing taste and nutrients. My girlfriend would define this as a skinny salad. A term I honestly despise, but that girls seem to love.
Vegan Russian Salad Print this Recipe!
Few notes. The vegetables should be thoroughly cooked but retain some of their crispness: no mushy stuff. Be careful with that.
According to my friends, adding apples in a Russian salad is a “Ukrainian thing to do”. I’m not sure I fully grasp the meaning of this, but I sure do like the freshness that a Granny Smith apple brings along. That’s why I decided to take the Ukrainian path, wherever this might lead me.
2 large potatoes
2 large carrots
½ lb / 7 oz / 200 gr green peas
½ Granny Smith apple
1 cup / 7 oz / 200 gr cooked cannellini beans, rinsed and patted dry
4 tablespoons olive oil
6 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar)
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 small bunch of fresh dill, chopped
Bring a large pot of water to boil.
Peel the carrots and the potatoes and dice them into ½ inch (about 1 cm) cubes.
Cook carrot cubes first into the boiling water for about 5 minutes. Fish them out with a slotted spoon, drain and let cool.
Now cook the potatoes, this takes roughly 7 minutes (it depends of the quality of the potatoes). Fish them out with a slotted spoon, drain and let cool.
Lastly, cook the green peas. I used frozen ones (ouch!) so I cooked them according to package instructions. If you’re using proper fresh ones it shouldn’t take longer than 2 minutes.
In the meantime, wash thoroughly the Granny Smith apple and diced it (skin on) into ½ inch cubes. Set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor, blend cannellini beans, olive oil, water, vinegar and salt; pulse until reaching the consistency of thin mayo. If still too thick, add more water (one teaspoon at a time). Finally, mix in some chopped dill.
In a big bowl mix vegetables and apple. Add pureed cannellini and stir until well combined. Taste and add more salt if needed.
Sprinkle with more dill and refrigerate before serving.
One serving of this vegan Russian salad has 240 calories, 9 grams of fat, 35 grams of carbs and 7 grams of protein.
The Iron You