My family’s Russian salad

There are so many ways to make Russian salad. But, of all, what is always great for our children is the salad of my husband Paolo’s grandmother, nonna Pin.

Now his grandmother has not been here for several years, but the tradition of her mythical Russian salad has been inherited by the various branches of the family. There is no party that does not have at the centre one or more huge bowls of Russian salad.

Every member of the family – Camilla, Adriana (the salad of the cover photo is her), Cecilia and so on – has a special personal touch, to distinguishes one from the other. But above all, its excellence is what keeps my father-in-law Dado, at ninety-five.

And this is his version of the recipe, to which I added my own method for the mayonnaise.

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 4 big carrots
  • 2 medium-sized beetroots
  • 7 bags of fresh peas on the pod (or, if you are lazy, the frozen or box equivalent)
  • 400 gr of green beans
  • 300 gr of cauliflower
  • 3 medium cans of tunafish
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • a small jar of capers under vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of mustard
  • 1 teaspoon of vinegar
  • salt to taste.

For mayonnaise:

  • 1 egg
  • 200 ml corn seed oil
  • 50 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • half a lemon
  • salt to taste

For decoration:

  • Various vegetables under oil and under vinegar

Cook the vegetables, leaving them to boil. Cut them into cubes and put them in a tureen with the beets. Add minced capers and anchovies and season with a mix of vinaigre and mustard.

Now prepare the mayonnaise using an immersion blender.

Put the ingredients in a tall and narrow jug, in this order: the whole egg, the 2 oils, lemon juice and salt. Make sure all ingredients are at the same temperature. Place the hand blender at the bottom of the jug and switch it on. Slowly start lifting the blender, allowing the oil to start blending with the other ingredients, but NEVER let the blades touch the air. Repeat a couple of times until you have a thick mayonnaise.

Add three-quarter of the mayonnaise to the vegetables and mix. Now you can decorate the salad with a last layer of mayonnaise and what your fantasy suggests. Put it in the fridge for at least a couple of hours, better all the night.

And let the party begin!