Perhaps the most important element in Slavic layered salads (pictured above) is the homemade mayonnaise. Sergey’s mayonnaise is different from the garlicky, limey Peruvian-style mayonnaise that I make. It has that perfect balance of sweetness and savoriness that makes you want to slather it on pretty much everything. It’s also quite subtle, which means you can add freshly minced garlic, herbs, spices, or chili paste to it to give your layered salads even more complexity.
Fortunately, Sergey shared his go-to recipe with me, and I have his permission to share it with you. Try it out the next time you need to bring a cold dish to a potluck, along with the layered approach to making a mayonnaise salad. You’ll surprise guests with your elegant take on the more predictable potato salad. —Carlos C. Olaechea
I was born in Peru to a Limeño father and a Texan mother. We moved to Miami when I was five, and I grew up in the "Kendall-suyo" neighborhood—often called the 5th province of the Inca Empire because of its large Peruvian population. I've been writing about food since I was 11 years old, and in 2016 I received a master's degree in Gastronomy from Boston University. A travel columnist at Food52, I'm currently based in Hollywood, Florida—another vibrant Peruvian community—where I am a writer, culinary tour guide, and consultant.