The recipe of smoked trout salad was modified from the version I make for us to fit the ingredient list for this blog. The base recipe is my beloved smoked trout salad, which we make not only for Christmas and other special events table, but throughout the year. Smoked trout salad with cooked vegetables is my version of Olivier salad, a must dish for a New Year celebrations in a former Soviet union, and known around the world under different names, including Russian potato salad. The number of versions of this salad, I am afraid, is countless, and every person has its own finishing touches to the dish composition and presentation. Back in Riga, we called this salad – meat salad, because we used either sausage, similar to Pariser sausage variety, or simply diced cooked beef or chicken meat. The rest of the ingredients included diced boiled potatoes, carrots, hard-boiled eggs, onions, canned peas and pickled dill cucumbers. The salad was dressed with mayonnaise. As a special treat we occasionally replaced meat with cooked canned crab meat, which was absolutely delicious and quite different to any canned crab meat available in the supermarkets and delicatessen shops nowadays. Photo below shows our own gluten free version of smoked trout salad from Christmas lunch, with canned peas and commercial mayonnaise.
Meat salad was forgotten completely with the discovery of so many world cuisines, more appropriate to Australian climate. My, should I say, emotional attachment to this dish comes from completely different direction. When after prolonged and dramatic time in my life, I was diagnosed with coeliac disease (to be followed with several other autoimmune conditions) in 2000, it was a relief that at least I could keep some food down. But the damage to my body was so great, that I could survive only few products, without being hit with non-digestive related symptoms. The list of the products I could consume was very short. The most offensive products were proteins of any origin, both of animal and plant origin. The only quality protein product on my list was chicken egg. One egg a day and 1 tiny piece of Swiss cheese were practically the only nutritionally dense products I had for 7 years, while my digestive system was recovering. Of course, every once in a while, I have tried to introduce new ingredients into my diet, only to witness that my body is not ready for them. With all written above it is easy to guess, that the first quality protein rich food I survived was smoked trout, couple of flakes at first, full sandwich topping later and, finally, a decent portion of this delicious product with fresh vegetables or mashed potatoes on the side. To say I was delighted, is to say nothing! I had to come up with some other dishes with smoked trout to diversify my menu. Olivier salad came to my attention and replacing meat with smoked trout made the salad even better than the original one. It took some time to adapt the recipe to our current tastes and dietary preferences. Potato was gone from the ingredient list, rich egg, gluten free mayonnaise was at first diluted with the liquid either from canned peas, or from dill cucumbers, but now I make the dressing for this salad using 2 parts of mayonnaise and 1 part of Dijonnaise.
For the Paleo version of Olivier salad I had to make more changes and substitutions. I used homemade avocado mayonnaise as a safe option both in terms of not using fresh egg, and avoiding all possible sugars and additives that can be present in commercial Paleo mayonnaise. I also had to drop canned peas as an ingredient, because of added sugar in the product.
- 1 smoked trout
- 3-4 cooked carrots
- 1 onion, preferably with sweet and not sharp taste
- 5-7 pickled dill cucumbers, the quantity depends on their size
- 4 hard-boiled eggs
- avocado mayonnaise, quantity depends on how wet you want your salad
- sea salt and white ground pepper to taste (optional, depends on mayonnaise taste)
- peel carrots, boil them, do not overcook them
- place cooked carrots in cold water to stop them going soft
- cook eggs, 10 min in simmering water for large eggs
- make avocado mayonnaise
- dice carrots and dill cucumbers
- flake smoked trout, take all bones out
- slice the onion thinly, chop sliced onion
- place all ingredients into a bowl
- add mayonnaise
- stir the salad
- season if necessary
- the salad can be kept refrigerated in a container with a tight lid for 5 days
I am grateful to my husband for the chopping. He does an excellent job always, while my chopping is terrible, large, uneven pieces and as the result not very pretty salad.
For those who can tolerate a tiny amount of sugar in canned peas, or can find canned peas without added sugar, add peas and the salad will be juicier with less mayonnaise in it. This version of the salad is nutritionally balanced dish with substantial amount of easily digestible protein, quality fats and reasonable quantity of fibre. Compared to authentic Olivier it is a light dish, that can sustain you for a long time. With all cooked ingredients this dish is a handy option for a takeaway lunch in any weather and without reheating.