I was tumbling down a rabbit hole in search of a recipe for morkovcha, which is a Korean-style Uzbek carrot salad, when I landed on the wonderful No Place Like Kitchen website. Not only does Olga provide some of the most accessible Russian home-cook recipes I’ve found, but she writes like Boris and Natasha talked on the old Bullwinkle cartoon show.
Here, for example, is her description of the mysterious “Olivie” which according to my friend Leo always makes an appearance at Russian ex-pat picnics: Salad Olivier was named for a French chef Lucien Olivier [aha!], but this is not his original recipe (it was lost). Soviet cooks simplified the similar recipe and now this is the most popular salad for a exUSSR holiday tables. Variation with chicken meat is called Stolichniy Salad (Capital Salad). Some add onion, fresh cucumber and sour apples, some put on top shrimps or crab leg. Even carrot is latest edition for this plain winter salad. Here are some rules: number of potatoes equal number of eaters, never mix hot and cold foods.
Now you’re in love with Olga, right? And you will like her even more when you see her photo on the About page, where she is inexplicably balancing two small pumpkins above her head like Mickey Mouse ears. And I haven’t even tried the recipes yet. Check it out.