Russian salad in tomato cups

June 4, 2010  •  Category:


We ate this salad on a regular basis in Beirut and it was called salade russe (russian salad); it was served in a carved tomato, and consisted of a medley of  diced vegetables (peas, carrots, potatoes and beets), smothered in mayo.

Why was it called russian salad? did it truly come from the Russian cuisine? Was it brought to Lebanon by the Russian emigrés who fled the Soviet dictatorship in the 20s and that we called ” The White Russians”? I have no idea.

My version adds shrimp to the mix and a garlicky homemade mayonnaise, with a bit of curry.


  • 4 tomatoes, medium sized
  • 1/4 pound of shrimp
  • 1/4 cup of chopped parsley (can use dill instead)
  • 2 cups of diced carrots & peas
  • one cup of homemade mayonnaise (recipe follows)


  1. Carve the tomatoes with a serrated knife and a spoon and reserve the flesh for another purpose.
  2. Lightly salt the tomato shells and set aside.
  3. Prepare the mayonnaise  by placing some garlic cloves (about 3) in a blender, a dash of salt and a teaspoon of lemon juice. Whirl the blender and add to it one egg white. Start whirling the blender for one minute until the mixture is creamy white. Add one cup of oil in a thin stream, very slowly, until the mixture is thickened and fluffy; add one more tablespoon of lemon juice and a dash of curry.
  4. Cook the vegetables if frozen. Set aside. Fry the shrimps in a bit of oil and add to the vegetables; add the parsley or dill and some mayonnaise. Taste and adjust seasoning. Fill the tomato cups and serve.


47 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Magdalena says:

    Well, all those ingredients (except for shrimps) are so Polish. But the salad itself is not Polish, because we mix vegetables a bit differently (I will show soon a typical vegetable Polish salad). And as regards how dishes are called, I can tell you that in Poland one can find, for example “Parisian cutlet” which has nothing to do with Parisian (French) food; Or “haricots blancs a la bretonne” which has nothing to do with Bretagne…. and so on…
    It is a good idea that you added some shrimp; overall, yummy!
    Have a nice, sunny weekend !

  2. john@heneedsfood says:

    Shrimp, garlic, curry – you’ve got me now. I can see myself having this with grilled seafood, sitting under a shaded tree in the middle of summer. Sigh

  3. peter says:

    Russian salad’s also found in Greece, it’s origins – your guess is as good as mine. You beat me to posting this dish. Care to taste and compare Rossiki Salatas?

  4. Not Quite Nigella says:

    Great serving idea Joumana! Potato salad is always a bit hard to present and this is very cute indeed 🙂

  5. Rosa says:

    A very lovely way of presenting that slad!



  6. elra says:

    Very pretty salad Joumana, not everybody can make pretty food that also taste good. Yours is certainly both!

  7. deana says:

    I love salad in a red case!!! I think anything full of mayonnaise is considered russe! I have a recipe for rice salad a la russe that is full of mayo and vegetables… and very tasty. I am on a mayo kick with a new recipe with egg white in it(next week!)… but I’ve never seen one made only with white..must try!!!

  8. northshorewoman says:

    I wonder if I will bump into one of the descendents of those Russians when I visit Lebanon next month. How will I recognize them?

  9. Eve@CheapEthnicEatz says:

    Where ever its actual origins, it looks so lovely. Such a beautiful presentation and a nice light summer salad. Great idea adding shrimps to it. It would make a nice entrée for a fancy meal too,

  10. Sushma Mallya says:

    Very beautiful way of presenting a salad, looks healthy and wonderful

  11. Ivy says:

    Joumana, this salad is known as Rossiki in Greece, again meaning Russian Salad. It was invented by a Russian Chef, of Belgian origin, named Lucien Olivier. He was one of the chefs in famous Hermitage restaurant, of Moscow. Love the addition of shrimps.

  12. Sonia says:

    this look beautiful and healthy!

  13. SYLVIA says:

    This salad has all the Lebanese flag colors. It is healthy, homemade and easy, you can even box it up and take it to work.
    Joumana I like how you made the mayo creamy, healthy, with less fat, and added the curry which gives it a characteristic flavor. This is a great modern refreshing take on Salade Russe.

  14. noobcook says:

    That salad looks so pretty sitting inside the tomato cup. what a cute idea!

  15. Gourmet Chick says:

    Wow this is a really retro looking dish – can imagine it at a 70s dinner party! Great idea to add the shrimp.

  16. Mallika says:

    Love ur Russian salad in those cute looking tomato cups and caps! Simple, yet beautiful!

  17. brian_in_gib says:

    What a small world we live in! There’s a salad in southern Spain that’s quite similar. It’s not served in a tomato, and it has boiled potatoes and tuna instead of shrimp. But it’s called ‘ensaladilla russa’…or Russian salad! We should make it a mission to find out who this Russian was who apparently travelled round the Med teaching people how to cook…
    Hope you’re well.

  18. Heavenly Housewife says:

    These are really cute, I just love the way they look. This would make a great lunch with a little salad.
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    *kisses* HH

  19. Katerina says:

    I love Russian salad. We have it also in Greece. Your twist looks very interesting, especially with the shrimps which are my favorites. Yum, Yum.

  20. Joanne says:

    Ooo I haven’t had russian salad in forever! I love that you served it in tomato cups!

  21. Joan Nova says:

    This salad is very popular all over Latin America. It’s called (appropriately) Ensalada Rusa. I’ve made it for large parties and usually serve it mounded on a platter and then decorated. Your version served in a tomato cup is very because it employs ‘portion control’.

  22. Angie's Recipes says:

    Love the way you present the salad…very pretty. Summer time, salad time.

  23. Mathai says:

    It looks gorgeous!

  24. pierre says:

    salut joumana il me semble qu’on appelait ça une macédoine non? ! en tous cas bien frais car ici il fait chaud !! Pierre

  25. A Canadian Foodie says:

    How food travels from one culture to another and is then changed in some way is fascinating to me. As a multi-cultural country who supports individual cultural identity (we see ourselves as a cultural mosaic – not the melting pot the US sees itself as…we don’t expect or want assimilation) we have a Heritage Festival in Edmonton Each summer on the August long weekend. I have been missing it the last few years. It is an international festival and incredible – and as I walk the grounds from tent to tent – and see the dance an dhear the music and smell the food and see the art… it is absolutely fascinating how rhythmic the world is in terms of the ripples from one culture to the next. Vanja (hubby) is from the former Yugoslavia and Russian Salad is HUGE in his culture. I have a post on it (check out the differences – but the post is also a eulogy…) and I am so surprised that the salad in a tomato cup has become a well known Lebonese Salad. In another life… I would track recipe development from culture to culture.

  26. Doc says:

    Yum! What a great summer treat with some vine ripened tomatoes, brilliant. And I LOVE the homemade mayo. A touch of curry makes it perfect. You are an inspiration!

  27. Cooking with Kait says:

    This salad looks wonderful. I love your addition of shrimp and homemade mayonnaise.

  28. theUngourmet says:

    What a nice salad! I love that it’s served in a tomato! 🙂

  29. grace says:

    i can’t say i’m a fan of the innards (mayo gives me the skeebies), but the concept is brilliant! a more beautiful presentation i don’t believe i’ve ever seen.

  30. Faith says:

    My hubby has always called this Russian salad too! 🙂 Serving it in tomatoes is such a great idea — and I love the addition of shrimp! It makes this the perfect summer meal.

  31. Jen_from_NJ says:

    A perfect salad in an edible bowl – very nice!

  32. kim says:

    oh wow, you even made homemade mayo! Much healthier than the store bought ones for sure!

  33. Lazaro says:

    Perfect. All the way around. Two thumbs up!

  34. Betty@TheHungryGirl says:

    oh, this looks wonderful. i love stuffed tomatoes 🙂

  35. Simply Life says:

    oh my gosh, that’s adorable!

  36. Sasa says:

    Another stuffed tomato! Just saw a cute one on Alessandra Zecchini’s (a Kiwi food writer) blog and drooled and here you are doing it to me again, I love stuffed things, they’re SO cute!

  37. Patty Price says:

    I love Russian salad and it looks great in the tomato cups, what a perfect summer lunch or starter for dinner, thanks for sharing your recipe!

  38. Cherine says:

    I love this salad. Great presentation 🙂

  39. TastyTrix says:

    How cute is this? I’ve done a tuna melt in tomato cups, but this is much more elegant!

  40. Suman Singh says:

    love the presentation…looks lovely…salad looks so tempting..yum!

  41. OysterCulture says:

    I love Russian salad in all of its delicious forms. I cannot say I’ve had a tomato stuffed with it, a deficit I must remedy immediately.

  42. Vagabonde says:

    My mother used to make this salad, la salade russe, which was a macedoine of vegetable with a mayonnaise. The salade russe is really Russian. This salad was created by Lucien Olivier. He was a Russian check of French origins and owned a restaurant called l’Hermitage in Moscou in the 1860s. He invented this salad and all Moscow raved about it. He never wrote the recipe because he died suddenly at 43. That’s why it’s called a Russian salad. Yours sounds very good.

  43. heguiberto says:

    humm Brazilians eat tons of mayo salad. I am not sure why the Russian name was removed from the salad name though. Whenever people invite you to a bbq party rest assured a ‘salada de maionese’ will be part of the menu and every family has its own recipe. It is fun. I need make some soon! I have not had it for a while. Joumana thanks for this nice recipe.

  44. Erica says:

    Beautiful presentation! Russian salad is really popular in Colombia.

  45. heni says:

    Nice presentation of an old classic favourite Joumana! Your pics always have that wow appeal!

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