Polish Vegetable Salad: Jarzynowa Recipe

The vegetable salad is a flagship dish of Polish cuisine and everyone has their own proven way of preparing it. This mouth-watering version of the Russian Salad or Polish potato salad called Jarzynowa Salad is Pyszne! That means Yum!

Who Invented the Vegetable Salad?

Lucien Olivier, a Russian chef of Belgian origin, made this salad a showpiece in his Moscow restaurant Hermitage in the 19th century but refused to give the recipe to anyone. It’s said that his assistant Ivan Ivanov entered the room to see how it’s prepared, then sold the recipe around.

The original composition of the “Olivier Salad” included hazel grouses, smoked duck, fish, tongues, crayfish, caviar, capers, pickles, and a Provencal-style sauce.

The oldest vegetable salad recipe from 1894 gives completely different ingredients than today.

According to the oldest found, the recipe for a vegetable salad was published in the journal “Our Food” (Наша пища), but the most common was the recipe published three years later in the book “Guide to learning the basics of culinary arts” (Руководство к изучению основ кулинаванкулинана.


In Poland, the vegetable salad became extremely popular in the times of the Polish People’s Republic. In the ’60s, ’70s or ’80s it was served in all places.

These days it’s called a Potato Salad, Vegetable Salad, Russian Salad, or Trash Salad.

The Salatka Jarzynowa is served for a number of occasions or even without occasions, but I mostly associate it with Easter.

IMPORTANT: You can totally make the salad vegan by using a vegan mayonnaise and removing eggs 🙂

Recipe Pointers For Salatka Jarzynowa Recipe

  • Use low-starch potatoes for best results.
  • You can use the potatoes without peeling the skins. They add flavor to any dish and also contain more nutrients.
  • Dice the potatoes, eggs, and veggies into very small cubes.
  • Serve with slices of crispy buttered toast.
  • Although salatka jarzynowa is traditionally vegetarian, you can make a meatier potato salad by adding bits of chopped ham or salami. Or better yet, serve with fried kielbasa sausages.
  • Add salt and pepper as needed.
  • You can serve this creamy Polish potato salad with some potato pancakes, koptyka, or Polish City Chicken.

FAQs about the Polish Vegetable Salad

Can I make this salad vegan?

Yes, to make this salad vegan skip the eggs and replace the mayonnaise with soy-milk-based vegan mayo. Soy milk acts as an emulsifier and produces really rich mayo.

Can I make this salad vegetarian?

Yes, to make this salad vegetarian, skip the eggs and replace the mayonnaise with eggless soy-milk mayo.

Can I make the Polish vegetable salad ahead of time?

Yes, you can make the Polish veggie salad up to 24 hours in advance. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator till ready to serve.

Can I store leftover Salatka Jarzynowa in the refrigerator?

Yes, you can store leftover Polish vegetable salad in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Transfer it to an airtight container before storing.

Can I make the Jarzynowa salad less fattening?

To make this Jarzynowa salad less fattening, replace half the mayo with a flavorless yogurt.

What is the difference between Russian salad and Stolichny salad?

The Stolichny Salad is Ivan Ivanov’s version of the Olivier salad or Russian salad. His version, the Stolichny salad uses smoked or boiled chicken instead of the other meats used in the Russian salad.

Polish Vegetable Salad: Salatka Jarzynowa

Polish Vegetable Salad: Salatka Jarzynowa

This mouth-watering version of the Russian Salad or Polish potato salad called Jarzynowa Salad is Pyszne! That means Yum!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 potatoes
  • 1 apple
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 pickles
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 can of peas
  • 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise

Instructions

  1. Peel and boil potatoes and carrots. Boil eggs at the same time.
  2. Once it all cools down, chop all ingredients (apart from peas) into small cubes.
  3. Mix everything together and add salt and mayonnaise.
  4. Let it stand in a fridge for a bit before consuming.

Notes

You can add a few drops of apple vinegar or lemon juice. If you're looking for a lighter version you could replace half of the mayonnaise with thick plain yogurt.

4 Comments

  1. My Romanian grandmother made this as a Spring/ Easter salad. Like so many dishes claimed by different nationalities, many crossed muddled lines. Who invented potatoes, or peas or holiday breads?

    • I’ve made salatka jarzynowa every Christmas since my teens. It was always most important to dice the veggies ( not peas) and eggs as tiny as possible. This is why I was given this tedious task. The veggies were cooked in a veggie only broth Christmas Eve red beet barscz (borscht) as it was a strict fasting day in Poland but people would make it for special occasions. In addition to the veggies listed in this recipe the broth would also include celery and parsnips. I also use fresh radishes. You could always mix in the mayo for single portions later if there is any salatka left.

  2. Aniela Kowzan

    Yes, very popular in Poland, but I believe it came from the similar, French classic : “Macedoine de legumes”. It is used there as an appetizer , part of an array, or a side.
    In the 1700-s and the 1800-s French culture and language were very popular in both Poland and Russia and the exchange included the sharing of culinary specialties.
    The classic French and Polish vegetable salad that I know is vegetables only, cubed, mostly precooked, in mayonnaise. Your suggestion to add chopped eggs, chopped cold cuts I think is excellent and makes it more of a full meal, like the American “Chef’s salad”. The addition of fresh apples to many dishes and salads is also excellent.
    A delicious Polish tradition, which is also encountered in Nordic countries and parts of Germany. Including in the herring salad!
    And, like with so many new American recipe writers these days …. the time of preparation given here is totally unrealistic! I do not like to mislead people. I think truth builds trust. Just think of all the veggies needing cleaning, boiling, cooling, finely chopping, HA! “Slow food”, par excellence, like most food made from scratch, but oh, so worth it :-))) Plus that gives time to incorporate lots of LOVE in your dish. A key ingredient to achieve excellent flavor and a good overall feeling for those that partake of the food. (A big tradition from ancient India, btw… where they chant mantras over the food!)
    Time would need to be at least doubled…
    I really appreciate you for opening a window on Polish cooking in this country!
    Many decades ago I wrote a 2 page article on Polish cooking with many recipes and colorful photos (chlodnik, which I referred to as the “Polish gazpacho” = a cold soup for hot summer days, etc.) which was published in the Denver Post .
    It seems that finally this younger generation, with the necessary confidence and enthusiasm and use of modern technology is able to spread the word successfully about the delicious, authentic Polish cuisine. BRAVO!

  3. Karen Zalewski

    Plan to make in the morning for Easter. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Happy Easter 🐣

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