Olga the matchmaker’s Russian Recipes For Love

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When Olga heard that we were doing Eastern European favorites this week, she pointed a finger skyward and said, ” Bubalah, you must include Olga’s special dishes. Whenever I introduce a couple, I make them a meal to seal the deal” She always laughs when she rhymes. When the couples marry, she brings the salads to the wedding. So far, they’re all still together. 

Herrings covered in fur

When Olga mentioned this one, we made a face. She initially called it, Russian layered salad with herring. When she saw the face, she insisted that people love it and that Russian herring is delicious. When she told us the real name, we thought she was kidding. Then she made it. Just amazing!  Give it a try. 


  • 3 potatoes
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 2 beets
  • 1/2 onion finely chopped
  • 1 12 oz jar Russian herring fillets
  • 6 Tbsp mayonnaise


  1. Boil the potatoes, carrots and beets
  2. Remove the carrots and potatoes after 30 min
  3. Remove the beets after 40 min
  4. Peel the potatoes and beets
  5. Shred the carrots, beets and potatoes and keep them separate
  6. Use a glass bowl for the salad
  7. Place 1/2 of the herring and 1/2 of the onions on the bottom
  8. Cover with a layer of 1/2 of the potatoes
  9. Cover that with a layer of 1/2 of the carrots
  10. Cover with a layer of 1/2 of the beets
  11. Top it with half of the mayonnaise
  12. Repeat the layers again
  13. Chill for at least one hour

Borscht with Meat

Borscht with meat added is an interesting and tasty meal. Olga serves it with a loaf of crusty bread.


  • 1 1/2 lb beets, boiled, peeled and grated
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 lb steak
  • 2 qt water
  • 1/2 lb bacon
  • 8 whole black pepper corns
  • 2 tsp dried marjoram
  • 2 tsp basil
  • 1 lb shredded cabbage
  • 2 leeks sliced
  • 1 c chopped onion
  • 2 lb polish sausage.
  • Chopped dill and sour cream for garnish.


  1. Combine 1/2 c beets with vinegar and sugar in a bowl
  2. Cover and refrigerate over night
  3. In a large pot boil the water with beef, bacon, pepper corns, marjoram, and basil
  4. Reduce to simmer for at least 2 hrs
  5. Add 3 c beets, leeks, onions, cabbage and sausage
  6. Simmer covered 40 min
  7. Remove the beef, sausage and bacon and cut it all into bite sized pieces and return it all to the pot
  8. Add the remaining beet mix
  9. Remove from heat and serve with chopped dill and a dollop of sour cream on each bowl
  10. Serve with crusty bread.


Blinis are like thin blintzes. They can be filled with sweet or savory. Potato is popular, as is cheese. Fruit and ricotta mixes are also common. Blinis are perfect for caviar.  Add a dollop of creme fraiche and finely chopped red onions and you’re in heaven. 


  • 4 1/4 c milk
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp citric acid powder
  • 4 c flour
  • 3 Tbsp veg oil
  • 1 c boiling water
  • 2/3 c butter


  1. Beat the milk and eggs
  2. Add salt and sugar
  3. Mix
  4. Add baking soda and citric acid
  5. Mix again
  6. Mix in the flour
  7. While the mixer is on pour in the oil and water
  8. Once it’s thoroughly combined let it rest for 20 min
  9. Melt 1-2 Tbsp of butter at a time in a medium sized skillet
  10. Add 1 ladle of batter and swirl it around like an omelet, so that it’s one thin layer
  11. After about 90 seconds flip it and cook it for 1 min on the other side
  12. Keep them warm as you cook them one at a time. Just stack them up.
  13. Fill with fruit, cheese, potatoes or chocolate just like crepes.

Finally, Olga's Special Cheese Salad

She wouldn’t let us copy this one down. She insisted on translating the recipe and writing it by hand. She calls this one The Magic. 

We promised to print it as she wrote it. It’s really simple but it’s really good. 


Next time

The summer barbecue

Enjoy Olga’s Russian recipes for love.

Coming soon

Olga answers relationship questions. 

About the author

The Scamper

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