A versatile recipe, this Romanian Oriental Potato Salad is easy to make, healthy and very fulfilling. It could be a wonderful lunch or dinner for a meatless meal, suitable also for vegetarians.
I have lots of memories about food while growing up. Most memories are related to my both grandmothers who were wonderful cooks. I like to think that I inherited the love of cooking and baking from them and I am truly blessed to have the opportunity to watch them work in the kitchen.
This recipe, though, is one of the recipes my mother used to make quite often. I don’t think there is a Romanian alive who doesn’t know about this salad. It is very popular and made in every household for a quick lunch or dinner. I am not even sure why is it called Oriental Salad and because I could not come up with any other better name, I will call it the same.
My mom used to make this recipe when she was tired and nothing more spectacular was cooked, or just at the end of the week, on Fridays, for example, as a lighter meal. Potatoes were a staple all year round and a cheap way to feed the family, so we had lots of them. It was also a good way to have a meatless meal.
The oriental salad is a versatile recipe. Despite the fact that it is a traditional Romanian one, everyone has its own version of it, probably based on the ingredients people used to have available. The basic salad consists on boiled potatoes, boiled eggs, onions, black olives and a vinaigrette made with a little bit of mustard, vegetable oil, salt, pepper, a little bit of sugar and a dash of vinegar. Some people might add chopped pickles or green olives.
If you think, the Romanian potato salad is quite healthy, as it is not loaded with mayo. Satisfying and simple, this recipe has an A+ in my book! I hope you try it!
- 5-6 medium potatoes boiled with the skin on
- 4 boiled eggs peeled
- 1 large red onion(regular or 4-5 green onions work fine too) sliced thinly
- ½ cup black olives sliced or whole
- For the Vinaigrette:
- ½ lemon juice(or 2 tablespoons vinegar-your preference)
- 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil(I used sunflower oil, but olive oil is fine too)
- 2 teaspoons mustard
- 1 tablespoon water
- ½ teaspoon sugar or honey
- salt and pepper to taste
- Boil the potatoes with the skin on until the fork goes through them. Let them cool for few minutes, then peel and slice them thinly or in cubes.
- Boil the eggs, peel and slice them thinly as well.
- In a large salad bowl, place the potatoes, eggs, olives and sliced onion.
- Separately, make a vinaigrette by mixing together mustard, oil, salt and pepper, sugar or honey and a little bit of water.
- Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss gently to preserve the shape of the potatoes and the eggs.
- Serve.The salad can last in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, for about 4 days.