In this recipe, I will show you how to make traditional Polish Vegetable Salad that my grandmother used to prepare for any bigger celebration in my family.
In Poland people like celebrating with a table full of different dishes. It looks like a buffet where everyone can pick their favourite food. Although my mother and grandmother had to prepare for those celebrations many different dishes, my grandmother never was stressed by this. When I close my eyes and go back to my childhood I still see her sitting on the chair at our kitchen table and cutting very finely all raw and cooked vegetables for the salad. She did it slowly to ensure that every piece of vegetable, egg or cucumber has the right size, while my mother was in a hurry trying to finish the rest of the meals. They were a good team after all.
To ensure that the salad turns out as good as the one my grandmother please make sure that you:
- don’t over-boil the vegetables
- cut the vegetables very finely (not everybody will be fond of big chunks of cooked celery)
- use a good quality mayonnaise
- season the salad with fresh herbs, like parsley or chives, seasoning is always the key!
As soon as you get those right, you are going to be more than fine!
Polish Vegetable Salad – Ingredients, Taste & Texture
Usually, when you hear the word salad you immediately think of something fresh, prepared from raw vegetables. Polish Vegetable Salad is made mostly from cooked soup vegetables, so that might be surprising for you! They are very soft and have an almost velvety taste. For the crunch, I add finely chopped raw onion and pickles. They give the salad sharper taste.
The dressing that I use is very basic, but in this case, simple is good. It consists of mayo, salt and pepper. For extra seasoning, I always use my favourite herb of all: parsley, but if you are not fond of it, you can also use chives. The herbs bring a pleasant herbal note to the salad. Because all the salad ingredients are cut very finely, the consistency of the salad is smooth and creamy. Mayo dressing keeps all ingredients together, therefore the salad looks like one colourful mash. It is very pretty, I need to admit!
Polish Vegetable Salad – Origin
As previously mentioned, Polish Vegetable Salad, as well as many other meals, has been prepared for any bigger family celebrations. When you think about it twice, the salad is actually made from leftovers of another traditional Polish dish: Rosół. Rosół is clear chicken and vegetable soup served with home-made egg noodles. Because the soup is clear, the meat and vegetables are taken out of the soup and utilised in a different way. That’s how we developed the Polish Vegetable Salad recipe. I was always saying that man and woman who lived in the previous centuries didn’t work harder, just smarter.
The salad became very popular not only because it was cooked from the left-overs but also because all its ingredients were accessible for everybody. Every farmer grew previously mentioned vegetables, made pickles and raised chickens, that produced eggs. In the result, they didn’t have to buy anything to prepare the famous Polish Vegetable Salad!
Polish Vegetable Salad – Varieties
Polish Vegetable Salad can be called differently, depending on the region. In Upper Silesia, it’s called “szałot” and in the North of Poland “sałatka Kaszubska”. It is very difficult to say how old the dish is, but I can assure you that the recipe I share with you has been cooked by my family already from the beginning of the 20th century.
For more inspiration about Polish dishes please read: 30 Polish Food to try in Poland.
Why do I love it so much?
– it’s smooth & creamy and goes well with any meat!
Polish Cooked Vegetable Salad
Polish Cooked Vegetable Salad is an easy leftover side dish that can be prepared for any celebration!
- 5-6 medium potatoes or 500g potatoes
- 2 medium carrots
- 2 small parsley roots
- 1/6 celery root
- 1 onion
- 4 hard-boiled eggs
- 4 pickled cucumbers
- 200 g green peas approximately one small can
- 5 tbsp mayo
- 2 tbsp parsley or chives
Peel potatoes, carrots, parsley and celery roots and onion.
Take medium-large pot and fill it with 2l water. Put potatoes, carrots, celery root, parsley roots into salty to it and bring it to boil.
Cook for about 40 minutes and be careful to not overcook the vegetables!
In the meantime chop onion, dice pickles and hard-boiled eggs and place it in a large mixing bowl.
Chop parsley or chives.
When the vegetables are cooked, drain them (I would recommend to keep the broth and use it differently) and let them cool down.
As soon as the vegetables are cold, dice them and put in the mixing bowl with other ingredients. Add mayo, salt, pepper and herbs and mix all well carefully.
The consistency of the salad should be smooth and creamy! When it is, try it and correct seasoning if needed.
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