Sałatka Jarzynowa is the Polish version of the famous Olivier or Russian Salad. Before meeting Kasia I thought that the only Russian Salad is the Spanish Ensaladilla Rusa. I could never think that this dish was so famous that almost every country has its own version. This is how ignorant we Spaniards are sometimes.
I like this Polish Russian Salad because the gherkins and apple it has add an acidity and crunchiness that goes perfectly with the flavour of the potatoes and carrots and the creaminess of the mayonnaise, a sauce which flavour is upgraded with the yolks of the boiled eggs and some little mustard.
In Poland they traditionally enjoy Sałatka Jarzynowa in Christmas and New Year’s Eve but in special occasions like parties and barbecues too. I personally think they should start to make tapas of it and serve it alongside glasses of beers and wine. That would be the tits! But that’s just the humble opinion of a poor Spanish boy.
How to make Sałatka Jarzynowa
Ingredients (serves 4 as a side or starter):
4 medium size potatoes
2 medium eggs
2 large gherkins
Some green or garden peas (As much or less or none as you like)
5 or 6 tablespoons of mayonnaise
1 teaspoon of mustard
Salt & black pepper to taste
Boil the potatoes and carrots, skin on, in salty water with 2 bay leaves and 1 garlic clove. They don’t put them in Poland but I’m not happy if I don’t put my touch in a recipe. Anyway, anything that you boil tastes better with garlic and bay leaves. That’s how I was taught by mum and that’s how I’m teaching you.
If you have some spare space in the saucepan or pot you’re using to boil the veggies, you may want to boil the eggs in it, as well. It’s up to you and how ecologist you woke up that morning. If you finally opt to save the planet, cook the eggs just for 7 minutes after the water starts to boil, as we did in the Ensalada Campera recipe.
Cook these veggies for 35-45 minutes, depending on the size, or until they are soft. Once they are cooked, transfer them to a bowl with cold water to cool them down. You may need to change the water several times to fast this process. They have to be totally cold before making the salad. If not, they will fall apart.
When the potatoes and carrots are ready, peel them and dice them in small pieces. Peel the eggs, cut them in half and chop the whites. Keep the yolks in a bowl and set them aside.
Peel the apple and dice it in small cubes. Do the same with the gherkins and add them to the rest of the ingredients with some garden peas. And let’s go with the mayonnaise!
Add 5 tablespoons of mayonnaise and 1 teaspoon of mustard to the bowl where the yolks are. Smash and mix everything together. Add some salt & black pepper and add this to the diced ingredients.
Mix everything with care, trying not to mash the potatoes because you need to feel them in each bite. Taste and adjust the salt and black pepper. If you want your Sałatka Jarzynowa creamier add 1 or 2 more tablespoons of mayonnaise.
Keep it in the fridge until the moment of eating it, but take it with some time in advance to have it not too cold. This salad tastes better the day after you make it.