I don’t remember a New Year’s Eve where we didn’t serve Sallate Ruse (Russian salad) at home. This Albanian New Year’s Eve Salad is as traditional for us Albanians as any other local dish. Later on when I started living in USA, I noticed that other cultures make their own version of Russian salad too. The recipe below is as we used to make it back home with one added ingredient:). Happy New Year!!!
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Russian Salad – Ingredients
A typical Russian salad will have boiled, diced potatoes, carrots, green peas, eggs and dill pickles. The salad is put together by mixing all these ingredients with a very generous serving of mayonnaise.
Then each culture adds other ingredients to taste. Some people add chicken, some others ham or prosciutto. Back when the salad was invented it was common to throw in capers, crayfish and smoked duck which are not so common nowadays.
Some countries serve the salad with no meats at all and some do add some kind of meat. This salad is also known as Olivier Salad (named after its founder).
The Albanian version of this salad (sallate ruse) also includes beans which a lot of other countries don’t add to their russian salad.
What Countries Serve Russian Salad?
Russian Salad is served and well known in Eastern Europe, post soviet era Republics, the Balkans, France, Spain, Portugal, Turkey as well as Latin America.
Each country has their own version of this salad. Even presentation can vary. If you prepare Russian salad at home, I would love to hear from you in comments how you prepare it and what culture do you attribute you recipe. Thank you:))
Albanian New Year’s Eve Salad Recipe Notes and Tips
Back in my native country we boil the potatoes, carrots and green peas separately. Most hostesses even prepare homemade mayonnaise. Shortcuts include using canned or preserved vegetables in a jar. However, I highly highly recommend to use fresh vegetables if you can. It’s a little bit more work, but so totally worth it. I haven’t been to a celebration where my russian salad hasn’t gotten a lot of accolades.
- I have added an extra ingredient to my russian salad compared to how we used to make it back home: hearts of palm. It really compliments the flavor of other vegetables perfectly. I usually buy mine in Costco because it comes in 2 big jars but you can get it online too if your grocery store doesn’t have this item.
- My version of the salad doesn’t have meats, ham or poultry but it does have eggs. However, if you have vegan guests you just leave the eggs on the side for people to add to their own plates as needed. That way the salad will be vegan friendly and the perfect side dish for everyone.
- I prefer using lima beans for this salad however on their absence I use dry navy beans.
Tip for Cooking Beans: use a pressure cooker or Instant Pot, it speeds up the cooking process. Also, if you forgot to soak the beans the night before, just add 10-15 extra minutes to cooking time.
- Instead of roasted red peppers, in Albania we use a certain type of fermented red pepper called gogozhare.
I did take some pictures as I was putting the salad together. Start by adding cooked potatoes, carrots and peas to a salad bowl.
Then add diced dill pickles (make sure they are not sweet).
At this point add cooked beans and cut heart of palm to the salad.
Finally add 2 cups of mayonnaise to the salad bowl and a tbsp of lemon juice as well as some salt. Start mixing carefully, almost like you’re folding the ingredients into mayonnaise.
Albanian New Year’s Eve Salad (Sallate Ruse)
- Pressure cooker (or Instant Pot)
- Large Salad Bowl
- 14 ozs dry beans lima beans or navy beans
- 1 cup green peas
- 2 medium potatoes
- 3 medium carrots
- 6 ozs heart of palm, sliced
- 2 cups mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp lemon juice preferred freshly squeezed
- 1 tsp salt
- 6 ozs dill pickles make sure they're not sweet
- 4 eggs
- 1 beet
- 1 small jar of roasted red pepper use as much as you want for decoration
- 2 tbsps chopped fresh parsley for decoration
- Soak the beans in water overnight.
- Add beans to instant pot or pressure cooker, add about 3 cups of water and cook in the beans/chili setting for about 1 hour. Add a little longer if you didn't soak the beans. Use natural release function to release the steam.
- Peel the potatoes, dice them and add to a small pot. Start cooking them. Do the same with carrots. Cook separately. Add green peas to a separate pot and cook them too. These 3 vegetables are cooked separately because they need different cooking times.
- Cook peas, potatoes and carrots until you can pierce them with a fork but not until they become so soft like puree. You want the salad to have some shape to it, not become mush.
- Drain the beans, peas, potatoes and carrots. In the meantime dice the dill pickles and slice heart of palm.
- Start by combining potatoes, peas and carrots in a salad bowl. Then add pickles, beans and heart of palm.
- Finally add mayonnaise, lemon juice and salt. Start mixing everything carefully, almost like you're folding the vegetables into the mayonnaise. You don't want to vigorously mix everything together.
- Place salad bowl in the refrigerator.
- Boil eggs and beets separately. Drain roasted peppers (this I used from a jar).
- When salad is ready to be served, add sliced eggs on top, beets and roasted peppers. Decorate with chopped parsley. Serve cold.
- Cooking time – I don’t count soaking beans into water in the cooking time. I simultaneously cook beans, green peas, potatoes and carrots (each separately). Prep time is putting everything together while chilling time refers to the time after the salad is ready and is chilling in the refrigerator.
- Salt – add very little salt if you are using canned vegetables since those already have some sodium. Adjust to taste. Cooking vegetables from scratch requires a different quantity for salt since potatoes tend to absorb a lot of it.
If you would like to save this recipe for later, please save below image to Pinterest. Feel free to tag me in social media if you made this recipe or if you have any questions:). Thank you!!!
Other Albanian Salads:
If you would like to check out some other Albanian salads please see below. Happy Holidays:)))