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Spanish Potato Salad Recipe - Ensaladilla Rusa

User Rating 4 Star Rating (3 Reviews)

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Ensaladilla Rusa
Tamorlan/Wikimedia Commons
The name for potato salad in Spain is ensaladilla rusa, or Russian Salad. Why? It is said that a Russian invented the salad in the late XIX century. We don’t know what the original Russian salad was like, but the Spanish have made their own version and eat it as a tapa or a side dish. Many families even prepare home-made mayonnaise to dress it.

Boiled, peeled potatoes cut into chunks and dressed with mayonnaise are the basic ingredients. Then, tuna, cooked carrots and peas, boiled egg, and roasted red peppers are mixed in. The Spanish like to decorate the potato salad with a layer of mayonnaise and white asparagus, red pepper and olives.

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 7 medium potatoes
  • 2 roasted red peppers (bottled is fine)
  • 1 16 oz can of peas and carrots, drained
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 6 oz can tuna, drained
  • 1-2 cups prepared mayonnaise – or make your own home-made mayonesa or mayonnaise
  • Optional for Garnish:
  • 4-5 spears canned white asparagus
  • 6-12 olives

Preparation:

This Spanish potato salad recipe makes 6 servings.

Scrub the potatoes to clean off any lose dirt and sand. Pour water into a large pot, cover and bring to a boil on high heat. Place potatoes in the pot and boil them with skins on until they are cooked, but not too soft. Test the doneness by pricking with a fork to make sure they are cooked, but still firm. Don’t overcook the potatoes or when mixing the salad, you’ll end up with mashed potatoes!

Boil the eggs until hard. See About.com’s Guide to Home Cooking’s article How to Make Hard-Boiled Eggs for tips. Cool the eggs.

If you are preparing home-made mayonnaise, do so while the potatoes are cooking. Mayonesa - Mayonnaise.

Drain the water from the pot and add cold water to the pot, covering the potatoes. Change every few minutes until the potatoes are cool enough to handle with your bare hands. Refrigerate for a few minutes to cool further.

Remove from refrigerator and peel potatoes. Cut into small (approximately 1/2") cubes. Return to refrigerator while you prepare the other ingredients.

Put approximately 1 1/2 cups of mayonnaise into a bowl. Slice 1 of the roasted pepper into strips about 1/3 inch wide, then cut into smaller pieces and add to bowl. Drain tuna thoroughly, then flake with a fork and add to bowl. Drain carrots and peas and add to bowl. Peel 1 egg, chop and add to bowl. Mix all ingredients together.

Add the mayonnaise mixture to the potatoes and mix thoroughly. If necessary, add more mayonnaise. Smooth top of potato salad, preparing for decoration.

Traditionally, a thin layer of mayonnaise is spread over the top of the salad using the back side of a large spoon. Slice remaining red pepper into thin strips and arrange on top of salad. Drain the white asparagus and olives. Carefully slice hard-boiled eggs lengthwise. Use to decorate the salad.

User Reviews

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 4 out of 5
It's true, Member Verbatima

There is a Russian salad that's very similar, dating from the late 19th century. It's called ""Salade Olivier"", and it's very popular with Russians on special occasions, especially around the winter holidays. The Russian version is heavy, with meat or sausage and pickles added. These days, I often go for the Spanish version instead, because it's lighter and more ""saladey"".

12 out of 12 people found this helpful.

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