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Salatka Jarzynowa – Traditional Polish Salad Recipe

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Sałatka jarzynowa is a really popular item at parties.

Have you heard of the authentic Polish vegetable salad? It’s a dish you can find in every home in Poland during any kind of celebration: from Christmas to birthdays, and name days (yes, we celebrate them in Poland!).

Polish vegetable salad is super easy to make and it tastes amazing. All you need is a few veggies, eggs, mayonnaise, and salt and pepper.  

Why Polish Salad Is So Popular?

One of the reasons why salatka jarzynowa recipe is well-known by every Polish housewife is that the veggies that you use to cook rosol (Polish chicken soup broth) are almost the same as in the Polish salad.

Polish salad recipe is very easy.

These are:

  • carrot
  • celery root
  • parsley root

When Polish housewives had these veggies left, they needed to find a way to do something with them. They figured that all they should do is to boil some potatoes and eggs, add ogorek kiszony (fermented cucumber), peas, mayonnaise, and the delicious breakfast for the next day is ready!

The other popular dish to make from rosol leftovers is Polish pasztet.

Did Polish Veggie Salad Really Originate In Poland?

The book Echoes of old Warsaw: In a kettle of flavors + 100 old recipes by Karolina Głowacka has a recipe for the Salatka jarzynowa.

We call it a traditional Polish Christmas salad, and it is a must-have at the Polish Christmas table. But despite being popular since the Polish People’s Republic, Polish veggie salad did not originate in Poland. 

Polish vegetable salad in a black bowl.
Polish vegetable salad is the perfect snack!

It actually originated in Moscow at the Hermitage Restaurant in the 1860s. Invented by the Belgian chef Lucien Olivier, the salad became extremely popular and was soon called Olivier’s salad.

The original salad contained veal tongue, grouse, crayfish tails, lettuce, caviar, smoked duck, capers, and the popular Olivier dressing made from French wine vinegar, olive oil, and mustard.

Salatka jarzynowa.
Salatka jarzynowa: Tasty Polish salad!

As the salad gained popularity among the middle classes too, the expensive ingredients were replaced by cheaper foods – cucumbers, potatoes, capers, and more.

Now, almost every country has a version of the Oliver salad. The modern salad is popular as a Polish Christmas salad and as a salad for family celebrations.

salatka jarzynowa in a bowl.
Salatka jarzynowa, Polish veggie salad!

How To Serve Polish Salad?

Traditionally, Polish style potato salad is served cold.

You can have it with meat (such as kielbasa) or bread. Even though it may be used as an add-on for the dinner, it’s not really recommended. The salad should be cold, as well as all the other ingredients of the meal.

There are two schools of making Polish veggie salad, and they differ by one ingredient, which is… potatoes.  While some say that potatoes ruin the taste of Polish Veggie Salad, others can’t imagine this dish without it.  Surely to take one of the sides, you need to try it both ways. 

Good news for those who love herring in oil! You can add it to the veggie salad as well! Chop it into fine pieces and mix it into the salad. See my Polish Herring In Oil Recipe if you want to make it at home. Keep in mind though that salad with herring will not last too long, so prepare a smaller portion. 

Tips For Making Polish Vegetable Salad

  • Wash well the veggies and cook with the peel on, this prevents them from overcooking and helps to keep the taste inside 
  • The finer you dice the ingredients, the better.
  • The veggies are best to dice when cold.
  • Try not to overcook veggies, best to remove them from boiling while still tender, otherwise, they might go mushy in the salad. 
  • This Polish salad tastes best cold!
  • You can make the salad a few hours in advance and refrigerate!
  • It is a common practice to make it a day before serving, allowing all the flavors to combine. Make sure you store it in the refrigerator.
  • If you cannot find celery root, you can skip it. 
  • Add more apples or a tablespoon of honey if you want it sweeter.
  • Add more dill pickles or a tablespoon of mustard if you want it tangier.
  • Freshly chopped leek or onions can add some intensity to the flavor, you may add some if you like.
  • Serve with Polish sourdough bread!
  • If you’re looking for a simpler salad to make in a hurry, try this Groszek z Marchewką.

FAQs About The Salatka Jarzynowa

What Variations Of Polish Vegetable Salad Can I Make?

Depending on the recipe, you can either add an apple or not. It makes the salad sweeter. I don’t really like Polish salad with an apple but my mom loves it. 

If you don’t have a traditional Polish ogorek kiszony, you can replace it with pickles. I wouldn’t recommend adding apple in that case, as the salad will be too sweet. 

Apart from the core ingredients you can play around with some extra add ons to the salad. Canned sweet corn, marinated mushroom, or even capers are perfect. 

Polish veggie salad on bread.
Serve the Polish veggie salad with bread!

What Is The Polish Celery Root Salad Called In Other Countries?

This Polish celery root salad has different names in different countries that vary based on the ingredients or region. Here are a few of them.

Sallatë Ruse – Albania
Ruska Salata – Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and North Macedonia
Francuska Salata – Croatia
Bramborový Salát – Czechia
Italian Salad – Denmark, Norway, Iceland
ρώσικη σαλάτα (Rossiki Salata) – Greece
Insalata Russa – Italy
Salada Russa – Portugal
Olivier Salad and Stolichny Salad -Russia
Olivier Salad – Iran, Persia, India
Capital Salad – Mongolia
Russian Salad – Serbia
Francoska Solata – Slovenia
Ensaladilla Rusa – Spain
Ensalada Rusa – Latin American countries
Rus Salatası – Turkey

Polish veggie salad on bread.
Serve cold Polish veggie salad on bread!

Do I Have To Use Canned Peas?

No, you don’t have to use canned peas. You can use fresh peas if you want to. Just remember to boil them before use.

Can I Make The Polish Salad Vegan?

Yes, to make the salad vegan or vegetarian, do not add boiled eggs to the salad. You also need to replace the mayo with eggless mayonnaise made using vegan ingredients such as soy or chickpea broth.

Is It Possible To Store Leftover Salatka Jarzynowa?

Yes, you can put the leftover Polish vegetable salad in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. Serve straight from the refrigerator!

Do not freeze leftover potato salad as the texture will change.

How To Make Polish Salad?

Yield: 10 servings

Salatka Jarzynowa - Traditional Polish Salad Recipe

A Polish dish of potato salad with carrots and parsley.

This authentic Polish vegetable salad called Jarzynowa Salad is made in every Polish household for celebrations and Christmas. It's really easy to make at home!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 potatoes 
  • 2 parsley roots
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 celery root
  • 1 onion or white part of the leek
  • 4 big fermented cucumbers (ogorek kiszony)
  • 1 can of the sweet peas
  • 1 apple (optional)
  • 6 boiled eggs
  • 10 tablespoons of mayonnaise 
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Peel celery root, carrot, potatoes, and parsley roots.
  2. Boil them until they are soft.
  3. Boil the eggs.
  4. Chop finely all the ingredients. For more effortless chopping you can use a special tool, a vegetable slicer.
  5. Add mayonnaise.
  6. Season the Polish salad with salt and pepper.
  7. Put the Polish salad to the fridge and eat when it's cold.

Notes

  1. If you want the salad to be more healthy, you can use 5 tablespoons of mayonnaise and 5 tablespoons of Greek yogurt.
  2. Remember to season your salad gradually! Although it requires quite a lot of salt and pepper, if you overdo it, there’s no way back. Add a small amount of salt and pepper, mix it well and taste it after a minute or two. Then add some more if needed.  With practice, you will learn the right amount of your spices. 

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 242Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 118mgSodium: 184mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 4gSugar: 7gProtein: 7g

These data are indicative and calculated by Nutritionix

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4 Responses

  1. I use frozen peas in this recipe, thawed, all the time. I do not boil them, and they add a nice fresh crunch to the sałatka. I also try to use celery root because of its excellent flavor and texture, but it’s hard to find so sometimes I leave it out.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Leon! What I love about frozen peas is their color. They are definitely greener than the canned ones. Celery root is delicious but, indeed, it may be difficult to find it sometimes.

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