Romanian/Russian Salata de Boeuf (Salat Olivje)

Romanian Salata de Boeuf

lumi_13 / Flickr

Prep: 40 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Chill Time: 2 hrs
Total: 3 hrs 25 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
897 Calories
62g Fat
55g Carbs
30g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 897
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 62g 80%
Saturated Fat 11g 54%
Cholesterol 257mg 86%
Sodium 857mg 37%
Total Carbohydrate 55g 20%
Dietary Fiber 9g 33%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 30g
Vitamin C 35mg 176%
Calcium 126mg 10%
Iron 5mg 25%
Potassium 1551mg 33%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Salata de boeuf, literally "beef salad," is a traditional Romanian potato salad. The name sounds French but is actually of Russian origin, where it is known as salad Olivier (salat Olivje). It was invented in the 1860s by Belgian chef Lucien Olivier who worked at the Hermitage museum in Russia.

Originally made with beef, it is now made with whatever is on hand—chicken, turkey, ham, or even hot dogs. The recipe varies from family to family and region to region, but what remains constant is the use of potatoes and root vegetables, and the fact that all the ingredients are diced finely. The salad is often decorated elaborately with bits of vegetables (traditionally pickled) and hard-cooked eggs. Adorned or not, it's a great-tasting salad that can be served as part of an appetizer spread or as a main course with crusty bread.


For the Salad:

  • 2 large Russet potatoes

  • 2 medium carrots

  • 1 1/2 to 2 medium  parsnips

  • 5 large eggs

  • 1 small onion

  • 2 stalks celery

  • 1 to 2medium pickles

  • 2 cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts, finely diced

  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas

For the Dressing:

  • 2 cups mayonnaise 

  • 1 tablespoon mustard

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Garnish:

Steps to Make It

Make the Salad

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a large pot of salted water, boil the potatoes in their skins until they are fork-tender, about 20 minutes. Remove them from the water and when cool enough to handle, peel off the skin. Dice finely and reserve.

  3. Peel the carrots and parsnips. In a large pot of boiling water, cook them until fork-tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove them from the water and when cool enough to handle, dice finely and reserve.

  4. Hard boil the eggs. When cool enough to handle, dice finely and set aside.

  5. Finely dice the onions, celery, and pickles.

  6. In a large bowl, add the diced potatoes, diced cooked chicken or other meat, diced carrots, parsnips, eggs, onion, and celery, reserving some of the vegetables and eggs to use to decorate the salad.

  7. Squeeze the diced pickles lightly in a paper towel to remove some of their juice (otherwise the salad will be too watery) and add to the rest of the diced ingredients.

  8. Place the frozen peas in a colander and run cold water over them to defrost. Drain completely, patting dry, if necessary, and add to the other diced ingredients in the large bowl.

Make the Dressing

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and pepper.

Assemble the Salad

  1. Add the dressing to the bowl of vegetables and chicken and toss to completely coat.

  2. Transfer the salad to a pretty serving bowl or mound onto a platter. Cover the entire top with a thin layer of the dressing. Use enough so no salad shows through. Decorate the top with the reserved vegetables and hard-cooked eggs, along with olives and parsley.

  3. Cover the salad with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to serve chilled. While you could serve it immediately at room temperature, refrigerating it allows the flavors to mix together best.

  4. Serve and enjoy.

How to Store

The salad can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.