Taste the spirit of spring with the popular Soviet ‘Mimosa’ salad

Soviet salad 'Mimosa'

Vasilisa Malinka
While nearly every festivity in the USSR was celebrated with this sumptuous salad, it was first and foremost a sign of the end of winter thanks to its resemblance to yellow mimosa flowers.

No one knows the exact date when the “Mimosa” salad was created, nor who created this Soviet culinary masterpiece, but in the 1970s this salad was traditionally the main dish on any holiday table because it had definitively won the hearts and minds of housewives across the country. Even the popularity of salads such as “Olivier” and “Herring under a fur coat” were on the wane. Mimosa salad got its name because of its top layer, which consists of chopped egg yolks, and which many people began to associate with mimosa flowers.

The mimosa itself was always considered the main gift for women on March 8, International Women's Day, which is still widely celebrated in Russia. Early March is the time when the mimosa begins to bloom and spring starts to manifest itself. Of course, people naturally wanted to draw a parallel between mimosa flowers, the holiday and the salad.

The best thing about this recipe is that it doesn’t require exotic ingredients. In Soviet times not everyone was able to afford fine foods, so you had to do your best using a meager selection of ingredients. And for that reason, mimosa salad always uses canned fish.

Despite the fact that the salad includes the simplest ingredients, the dish always turns out delicious and beautiful. Its popularity owes to the fine taste and the simple list of ingredients that can easily be found in the kitchen of every housewife. The classic version of mimosa salad includes hard boiled eggs, canned fish, onions, butter and mayo. Every family of course has their own special recipe. Many use potatoes, carrots and cheese, and some recipes even call for croutons.

Ingredients:

  • 3 potatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 cans of salmon (or tuna)
  • Half an onion
  • 3 eggs
  • Mayo
  • Dill 

Cooking:

1. Peel your carrots and potatoes, and put into a pot with cold water; bring to a boil and add salt. Cook the carrots and potatoes until they are soft. Remove from the water and cool completely.

2. Hard-boil the eggs by putting them into a pot with cold water, bring to a boil, cover the pot with a lid and turn the heat off, leaving the eggs to sit for 8 minutes. Then, 'shock' your eggs with cold water and peel them. That way the egg yolks will stay perfectly yellow.

3. Chop your half onion into very thin slices.

4. Drain the liquid from the canned salmon.

5. Once all the ingredients are cooked and have cooled take your finest grater and grate alternately potatoes, carrots, egg whites and lastly egg yolks. Rinsing your grater in between ingredients will help your layers stay cleaner.

6. Use a glass bowl to form your mimosa, or make a circle out of foil (sort of a big cookie cutter) on your serving plate. Start your layers with half of your grated potatoes. Try not to press it down in order to keep it more delicate. On top of the potato spread about a spoonful of mayo. Then make a layer of tuna (half of what you have) and spread some mayo again. Now place a thin layer of onion and go with the rest of your potatoes. Then mayo again, and the rest of your tuna. Next, make a layer of carrot, topped with mayo of course, and finally, your egg whites and egg yolks.

7. Use dill to decorate the salad on top; try to make it look like mimosa flowers!

Read more: How the Soviet Union fell in love with imitation crab meat

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