This dish takes asparagus and eggs to the next level. Asparagus paired with a fresh vegetable, egg filled Russian Salad…. so tasty. Mainly served as an appetizer, Russian salad, is a favorite here in Venice. I thought it might be interesting served with seasonal asparagus. Russian Salad also called Olivier Salad, is a traditional Russian celebratory dish. This salad has become quite popular in Europe, there are many variations and each country has adopted their own version. I quite like the way the Venetians make their Insalata Russa.
Russian Salad with Fresh Spring Asparagus
This salad can be served year round, alone or as a side to boiled shrimp or lobster.
10 carrots peeled and diced in 1/4″cubes (should yield approximately 3 cups)
2 large non starchy potatoes peeled and diced in 1/4″ cubes (should yield 3 cups)
2 cups of fresh peas shelled (use frozen if fresh are unavailable)
8 hard boiled eggs
1 cup of dill gherkins diced in 1/4″ cubes
1 1/2 to 2 cups of Mayonnaise (high quality)
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
2 large bunches of asparagus
-Peel and dice potatoes into 1/4″ size cubes, slice the potatoes on the long side lay the potatoes flat on a cutting board and cut into cubes
-Peel and cut the carrots along the length, lay the cut side down on a cutting board and cut again, then cut into 1/4′ cubes
-All items need to boil separately each has different cooking times
-In cold water add potatoes and course grain sea salt, bring to boil, after water comes to a boil time 10 minutes (note the potatoes need to retain their shape and NOT fall apart, so watch carefully, Please do not overcook them). Drain and let cool completely.
-In cold water add the carrots and sea salt, bring to boil and time 8 minutes noting the same not to overcook the carrots. Drain and let cool completely.
-In cold water add the peas and sea salt you will need to test the peas but if fresh 10 minutes, if frozen much shorter, also be careful not to overcook. Drain and let cool completely
-In a pot large enough for the eggs, bring water to a boil, add the eggs carefully into the water boil for 10 minutes. Let cool and peel
-Dice egg whites into 1/4″ cubes separately chop the yokes
-Dice the dill gherkins in 1/4″ cubes
-It is important that all items cool and dry before mixing together
-In a bowl add mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper, mix well
-In a large mixing bowl add all of the cooked ingredients along with the dill gherkins, egg whites and yolks, mix in the mayonnaise, stir carefully , refrigerate until ready to use. Can be made a day in advance.
-Cut the tough bottom end of the asparagus, with a vegetable peeler, peel the bottom rough outer layer, place the asparagus in cold water bring to boil. Test for preferred doneness with a fork. Carefully lift the asparagus out of the water let drain.
-With a pastry form in the center of a plate, fill with Russian Salad, lay the asparagus alongside, lift the form and Voila!! A Beautiful Spring Plate!!!
Buon Appetito !!