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Kings Mountain, North Carolina, United States
"A mind lively and at ease" is a blog by a first-generation Russian-Ukrainian immigrant Maria K. (Maria Igorevna Kuroshchepova). An engineer by education, an analyst by trade, as well as a writer, photographer, artist and amateur model, Maria brings her talent for weaving an engaging narrative to stories of life, fashion and style advice, book and movie reviews, and common-sense and to-the-point essays on politics and economy.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Mama Masha's classics - red and white Russian potato salads

The two versions of the Russian potato salad are not just something I grew up with - they are also among the first five dishes I learned how to make from beginning to end on my own. They are fun for large gatherings, especially in the summer, when nobody wants to eat anything hot.


- 4 medium potatoes

- 3 eggs

- 1 can of peas and carrots

- pickled cucumbers, zucchini or squash

- ham, prosciutto, or pancetta

- 1 small can of mushrooms

- 1/2 cup chopped onion

- mayo or plain yogurt


- cook potatoes and hard-boil the eggs

- finely chop potatoes and eggs into a bowl (I have a nice glass bowl that has a plastic cover - so I can stash the whole thing in the fridge and serve it when I need to)

- add peas and carrots

- finely chop and add 1 cup of the pickles

- sautee and add mushrooms and onions

- add ham, prosciutto or whatever other meat you prefer - any chopped or pulled lunch meat or sausage would do.

- add 2 tablespoons of pickle juice

- add 2 large serving spoons of mayo and mix thoroughly

- chill at least 3 hours before serving

To make the red Russian potato salad, use the recipe above but replace mayo with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and add either one large cooked beet - shredded, or one can of canned beets - shredded or finely chopped. I also like adding herbs - parsley, chives, and dill all go very well with both versions of this recipe.

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