Keto Oliver salad? This will be easy to Ketonise, one might think. But if you have no idea what are the original ingredients in the world-famous Oliver salad, then you might get quite surprised. The mystery of this famous European New-years salad goes back to the romantic Russian times before the revolution.
In the tradition of my Balkan people, there’s no New year’s celebration without this rich and creamy salad. Ever since I was a child, I simply adored the combination of smoked meat aroma, creamy mayonnaise and chewy cheese. And then the crunchy pickles! My late father would always add some sour apple in this salad and he would not allow potatoes as many people would.
We never called it Oliver salad (as it’s should be called), we just called it French or Russian salad. The difference was that French salad had chopped chicken, while the Russian version had smoked ham cut into small cubes. I learned later, that was a Yugoslav invention, such difference never existed.
It’s all French but Russian to me
The so-called French salad doesn’t have much to do with France. It was neither made in France nor made by a French chef. It was actually made in Moscow in 1860 at the famous Hermitage Restaurant, where it was secretly prepared by chef Lucien Olivier, a Russian chef of Belgian roots.
Chef Olivier had a separate chamber in the kitchen of his restaurant where nobody could enter. That is where he privately made his exquisite art. The salad became extremely popular, that even Tsar Alexander II came to the restaurant to try it. Chef Lucien Olivier died in 1883 and took the mystery of the salad to his grave.
If it wasn’t for Oliver’s apprentice, maybe this salad wouldn’t be so popular around the world today. Namely, as Olivier was hiding the recipe, his assistant Ivan Ivanov somehow managed to arrange a salad, which he later independently prepared at another restaurant.
Although it didn’t quite hit the recipe note, it popularised this dish by selling the recipe to numerous publishers. The recipe was first published in the Russian magazine Our Food on March 31, 1894. Until Hermitage worked and until Olivier’s family left Russia in the early 20th century, the salad did not bear today’s name.
Hundreds of versions and Keto Oliver salad invention
This salad is beloved all over Europe, in Israel, Iran, Mongolia and all the way to Latin America. People prepare it usually during the holidays. Some versions have more meat while others feature seafood. There are actually hundreds of different versions around the globe.
Over time, the original recipe changed and got refined, as is often the case with the originals. This is because of local foods, the cost-effectiveness and also personal preferences.
What is known is that Olivier’s salad contained veal, caviar, lettuce, lobster, capers, cucumbers, hard-boiled eggs and green peas. Quite different from what you will find in many Russian or French salads today. But it also sounds very Keto to me!
Greek Goes Keto Oliver salad
To make Keto Oliver salad, one must just exclude the infamous potatoes. But to really make it Keto Mediterranean and healthy, you’ll have to make your own mayonnaise by following this recipe. Now I know that this requires time, but KMD postulates say that we don’t rush and enjoy the process of creation.
I enjoyed it and got myself the healthiest Russian-French salad. My Keto Oliver salad ended up so rich and flavour-rich that I simply have to ask you to make it! Words can’t describe the pleasure and refreshment it gives! And guess what, it’s 100% low in carbs and rich in protein and fats. Not to mention the great benefits of quail egg and Greek olive oil.
Let’s revive the romantic Russian era with Keto Oliver salad
Keto Oliver salad – Greek Goes Keto versionCourse: Keto starterCuisine: Keto EuropeanDifficulty: Medium
120g (3,5 oz) smoked beef prosciutto (or any prosciutto)
200g (7 oz) aged goat cheese (semi-hard or hard)
4 hard boiled eggs (finely chopped)
100g (3,5 oz) celery stalks (finely chopped)
100g (3,5 oz) cooked green peas (optionally use chopped green beans)
70g (2,4) chopped pickles
6 tbsp Keto Quail egg mayo
4 tbsp sour cream or goat cream cheese
1 tbsp stevia-erythritol blend
a splash of grapefruit juice (optional but gives so much flavour)
- If you decide to prepare our Keto Quail egg mayonnaise, don’t use any of the spices except sea salt, lemon juice and lemon zest. you want this mayo light. Prepare it a day before.
- Finely chop all the ingredients so that you get small cubes. Mix them in a mixing bowl.
- Mix mayonnaise with cream cheese or sour cream. Add stevia and keep whisking until you get a nice smooth consistency. Squeeze some grapefruit juice. This part is optional but it does give so much flavour.
- Mix the salad with the dressing so that it’s all covered.
- Transfer it on a wide serving plate and add more dressing as you would cover a cake. Now, decorate to your liking with pickled vegetables, boiled eggs, nuts or anything that comes to your mind. I used dried dill, horn pepper and pickles.
- You can use any kind of smoked meat, but smoked beef prosciutto will give a great flavour and nutrients! You can also use the original ingredients from the Oliver salad, such as chopped lobster, caviar, capers or cooked veal.