On hot summer days we prefer light, refreshing appetizers, drinks and, of course, salads. Salads as we know them now appeared in Russian cuisine only in the middle of the 19th century. Marinated and pickled vegetables were accompanied by fresh vegetable appetizers with a dressing. Before that, only meat dishes were served with a dressing.
Since Soviet times to present days salads have been an independent dish because they are very nutritious. Meat, fish, eggs, grains such as rice served as main ingredients. Mayonnaise and sour cream were used for dressing. These dishes were cooked on holidays and had a special place on a festive table. Not a single New Year dinner can be imagined without such Russian classic salads as Olivier, Mimosa, and Herring in Fur Coat.
Nowadays Russian summer salads are becoming similar to the ones of Mediterranean cuisine, which are noted for a rich variety of dressings, and vegetable oil based sauces. During summer period we tend to use seasonal vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers and cabbage. Besides, salads made of root vegetables are popular in Russian families. The most common combinations include apples and carrots, carrots and celery root, cucumbers and turnips or radishes.