Russian Salad – My father’s favorite

Russian Salad
Russian Salad

I write this post with such a heavy heart. Even as I write, I am in disbelief that we lost Pappa, my dearest father, last week.  As I grapple with my emotions, I know that my brother and I will always miss him. I remember my kind, loving, extremely witty, sports loving father, who was truly a gifted athlete himself. In his college days, he was the captain for Bombay University’s cricket team three years in a row! When I was growing up, I  remember his many badminton tournament victories. In his later years, he went for his early morning walks, loved playing tennis, and going swimming. No matter which sport he picked, he was a natural at it!

Pappa,  Mr. Ram Rege ,(on the right), in his college days, as the Captain for the Bombay University Cricket Team, receiving the winning trophy from the legendary cricketer Vijay Merchant
Pappa, Mr. Ram Rege ,(on the right), in his college days, as the Captain for the Bombay University Cricket Team, receiving the winning trophy from the legendary cricketer Vijay Merchant

I think that it was during his cricket days that he had his first taste of Russian salad and he took an instant liking to it. It quickly became one of his favorite dishes.  I made my version of Russian salad for Pappa, when I visited him last December. Pappa was always very encouraging, supportive and proud of all of us. He had never cooked in his life but was so proud of my blog! I was so touched when I overheard him telling my cousin about the number of views my blog had got ….I know….it is like saying my kid got an A+ in preschool……but that is my father’s love and a treasured and precious memory for me.

Pappa was also a talented writer and orator.  I hope to combine his love of writing, my Aai’s (mom’s) passion for cooking and my education in architecture in this blog………….all with their blessings, of course <3

For the Russian salad-

Instead of the ‘traditional’  dressing, I skipped the fresh cream and added a touch of the Russian salad dressing. I know that historically the salad has nothing to do with the dressing , but I liked the twang it gave the dressing:) That is why I called it ‘my version’  My mother used to make fresh homemade mayonnaise, which was simply awesome, but, again, I used store-bought. So my version is the lazy woman’s version.

The dressing-

  • ½ cup good quality mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Russian salad dressing. I used Ken’s brand
  • few turns of freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon red chili powder

For the salad-

Ingredients for the Russian salad
Ingredients for the Russian salad

I added a pinch of salt to the boiling water when cooking the vegetables.

  • 1 medium potato, boiled, peeled and cut into cubes. About 1 cup cubes.
  • ½ cup chopped green beans, blanched
  • ½ cup diced carrots, blanched
  • ½ cup petite green peas, blanched
  • ½ cup pineapple chunks. I used Dole brand
  • ½ cup cooked and sliced beets. I used Del Monte canned  beets
  • ½ cup diced apple cubes. I used a Gala apple
  • 2 eggs boiled, shelled and cut into 4s
  • lettuce leaves to serve

To make the Russian salad-

  1. Combine and whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing.
  2. Fold in the potato cubes, green beans and peas, carrots, pineapple, beets and apple.
  3. Serve on the lettuce leaves, topped with the eggs.

Love,

Sandhya

62 thoughts on “Russian Salad – My father’s favorite

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  1. Sorry for you loss, Sandhya. At least you have good memories to hang on to, and I’m sure your father would have been proud to hear what you wrote about him.
    I too love Russian salad. My version has a bit of mustard and lemon in the dressing and no apples/pineapple. I’ll try your version soon – it sounds interesting and tasty. And your presentation is beautiful. 🙂

  2. Sorry to hear about your loss Sandhya. Your dad sounds like a truly wonderful man and surely was very proud of his daughter. Hang on to the beautiful memories to help you get through the difficult times. This salad looks really wholesome and wonderful.

  3. Your Russian salad looks delicious and your father sounds like such a wonderful, amazing man. Sorry to hear of your loss.

  4. Oh dear Sandhya, sincere condolences to your and your family. Your post dedicated to your Father is just lovely, I know he is looking down quite favorably on your Russian salad. Departure of a loved one is just so heart-breaking isn’t it? I loved reading about his love of sport. It is especially hard when parents live so far away isn’t it? We lost my mother in law too 2 Sundays ago, although she lived to the ripe old age of 94, we will still miss her. I hope you cherish the memories with your Father, and may then sustain you through the sad times.

    1. Dear Loretta,
      Thank you so much for your ongoing support , your compassion and words of comfort.
      I am sorry to hear about your mother in law.
      Yes we will always miss our dear ones.

  5. I am so sorry for your loss Sandhya. This post is such a lovely tribute to your dad. I love the heartfelt story and the salad looks absolutely delicious.

  6. What a combination of memories and food.
    I don’t think so i have read a memorial with a recipe ever in my life.
    Kudo’s to your thoughts and skill.
    Blessed are the ones who think of their parents at all times.

    My condolences on the sad demise.
    Congratulations to have put up his favourite recipe.

    1. Ateeque, thank you so much for your compliments and I truly appreciate your compassion and words of comfort. Yes our parents will always live in our hearts. Thanks again, dear friend.

  7. Oh Sandhya- I read this and am so sad for you and your family. It was just a few months ago when you wrote the post about how inspirational your father was in your writing and blogging.
    He will be with you always.
    Sending hugs and love to you and your family as you grieve and honor this wonderful man.
    Thank you for sharing this recipe and photos.

    1. It is indeed a very difficult time. Thank you so much for your words of comfort and your hugs and love. I really appreciate it, Pam

  8. I’m so sorry to hear about your loss–my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Thanks for sharing a favorite recipe of your father’s–it’s a beautiful salad!

    1. Thank you so much Nancy. You are so kind. I really appreciate your compassion and your comforting words.

  9. The most successful people are encouraged by loved ones. You are fortunate to have had such a devoted dad. I’m sorry he is gone from your life. This is a spectacular salad. It’s no wonder it was a favorite!

    1. Thank you so much. Yes I was indeed fortunate to have loving and devoted parents. I appreciate your words of comfort.

  10. I am sorry for your loss Sandhya. A father holds a special place in every girls heart. Your salad is a wonderful tribute to your father. Beautiful colors and vibrant like all the memories you share with your father.

  11. Your father was clearly a wonderful man. I’m sorry for your loss. May you be comforted by all of the sweet memories, and by the strength and wisdom and love he so abundantly instilled in you, too. You are a gift and inspiration to many in your own turn, and I can only think that wherever you go you will continue to carry your father’s beautiful spirit with you. Be blessed.
    xo,
    Kathryn

    1. Dear Kathryn,
      I don’t have the words to thank you enough for your kind and comforting words. yes I was truly blessed to have wonderful parents who instilled love and values that I hope I instill in my children.
      I will always try to carry their beautiful spirit in my heart.
      You are truly a gift yourself.
      I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
      Love,
      Sandhya

  12. Sandhya, I know this is about your Pappa’s first death anniversary right? So very sorry, and a great tribute to remember him with this wonderful post you shared last year. We celebrated one year for my ma in law too who passed away on March 1st. Loved this Russian salad, we often had it at parties too.

    1. Dear Loretta,
      Thank you so much. It is so hard to believe that it has been a year since we loved our dear ones, right? Friday March 4th was the anniversary so I reblogged Pappa’s favorite salad.

  13. What a love tribute to your dad…memories that are documented for year to come. I have lovely memories of Russian Salad too, it was quite popular when I was growing up in India. Have not had it in years.

    1. Thank you so much Zeba for your kind words. I am truly touched.
      This is an easy version of the Russian salad but tastes awesome. Hope you get to make it soon. Thanks again for reaching out to me.

  14. Hi Sandhya! Please accept my condolences. I also wanted to say that your Russian salad looks delightful! Love the presentation! It is very similar to what Russians call “Olivye”, one of my favorites.

    1. Hi Vera, I am so touched by your kind words. Thank you so much!
      It is very interesting to read about Olivye and am wondering about the history of how this Russian salad became so popular in India. I love it too.

  15. Sandhya, I’m so sorry for your loss. From what I read, your father was such a sweet and talented man. The story of his pride about your blog made me smile–your blog is the home to amazing cooking and a place to share these wonderful memories. The salad it so pretty and colourful! I’ve never tried a Russian salad before, but I can tell from all the delicious ingredients that I’d love it 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for your warm words of comfort and support. I am truly touched by your kindness.

  16. Sorry for your loss dear. It’s always difficult to part our loved ones. But hmthis salad looks so yummy. Actually am surprised your dad gotta eat all these kind of food in those days. Interesting. 👍🏼

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words of comfort.I think the elite cricket clubs served Russian salad, in those days.

  17. So sorry on the anniversary of your father’s death to hear you thinking about him, feel your sadness of the loss of a good father, husband and great athlete, too. <3
    Your father was handsome and I am sure you and he were close, Sandhya. I like how he was proud of your blog. :)Hugs and tears, your friend Robin

    1. Thank you so much Robin for your words of comfort. My brother and I feel that we were blessed to have very loving and wonderful parents, who will always live in our hearts.

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