Russian Salad


As an omni russian salad was one of my friends’ favorites and was often asked as a contribution to parties and pot lucks. Last Sunday I went to a “everyone-brings-something-and-we-end-up-with-tons-of-leftovers” dinner party, and proposed this vegan version. I was very happy to see that everybody loved it. If you’re less than 15 at the dinner table, you may want to lower the doses (fortunately, it keeps a few days in the refrigerator without problems)


Veg-mayonnaise (see the recipe below for homemade vegannaise)

600 g potatoes

400 g carrots

400 g peas

Olives and pickles to garnish


Boil peas in salted water. Steam or boil potatoes and carrots (in the latter case, avoid peeling beforehand). Let cool, peel and cut in small cubes, add salt to taste and mix with 2/3 of the vegannaise. Spread the remaining vegannaise in order to form a uniform layer on top of the salad.  Garnish with olive and pickles (I used pickled cucumber fans and olives). In order to make a good russian salad, vegetables need to be boiled first and then cut, and not viceversa, as the final result would be too watery.

Vegannaise (Vegan Mayo): ingredients

300 ml soy milk

3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

a pinch of salt

the juice of 1/2 squeezed lemon

oil  q.s. (I use peanut oil)


For making vegannaise I’ve always used a hand blender and a tall plastic or ceramic container. Blend soy milk with lemon juice, mustard and salt. While mixing, slowly pour oil in a thin, steady stream, until you reach the desired consistency (the longer you mix, and hence add oil, the firmer the vegannaise will be). For russian salad I prefer a very firm vegannaise. Taste and add salt or lemon juice as needed. If you want to simulate egg-based mayonnaise, you can add a pinch of turmeric, just enough to color the vegannaise light yellow, without altering the taste too much.

  1. Kolia 20 May 2010 at 20:30

    You should try making this salad with marinated cucumbers instead of gherkins. It give the salad more juicy taste.

  2. Kolia 20 May 2010 at 20:36

    Also, adding some yogurt to the mix (the flat tasteless variety) will make the salad easier to eat – you won’t taste any oiliness. Some Kalamato olives will also make a perfect blend of Russian and Greek style salad.

  3. Lia 21 May 2010 at 08:47

    Thank you Kolia for your comments! I don’t actually put gherkins inside the salad but only use them as garnish (actually, many of my friends are not so fond of gherkins unfortunately), but I do love them. I’ve never tried marinated cucumbers, do you buy them or make them yourself?

  4. Jul 21 May 2010 at 16:55

    I have no luck with vegannaise – it resists getting firm although i did as the recipe tells (followed the amounts and blendid it for like half an hour..)
    the vegannaise stayed very liquid and after a night in the fridge it dissolved: there is 3cm of some yellowish fluid at the bottom. does anybody have an idea what i did wrong?

  5. Tippitappi 21 May 2010 at 17:51

    Jul, the same happened with my vegannaise…. it was liquid, I continued blending but no, I had to throw it away 🙁

  6. Jul 21 May 2010 at 22:19

    cheers Tippitappi, I’m a bit relieved now – I tried several times and was afraid to be some kind of a vegannaise-loser.. 😉
    maybe some powdered almonds or soja flour would help?

  7. Lia 22 May 2010 at 19:07

    I’m so sorry to hear that you had trouble making the vegannaise.. it does get firm very quickly, so if it doesn’t get firm within a few minutes there’s no need to blend it that long.. It might be the soy milk though, I’ve heard from other people on another forum that some brands of soy milk just won’t work, so maybe that could be the problem

  8. Maija Haavisto 31 May 2010 at 12:30

    Bryanna Clark Grogan’s Nonna’s Italian Kitchen (an excellent vegan Italian cookbook) has a great recipe for vegan mayonnaise, which isn’t actually a real emulsified “mayo” but made with agar agar and starch, but the texture is great and I like it better than normal vegan mayos since it’s less oily.

  9. Heide M. 11 March 2011 at 05:46

    This salad looks very interesting.

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