Ensaladilla Rusa is a popular Spanish potato salad made with potatoes, carrots, boiled eggs, cooked peas, tuna, and mayonnaise. Delicious!
Spanish Ensaladilla Rusa- Potato Salad
Every time I visit a country, I love eating what the locals eat. A few months ago we spent a vacation in Spain. While in Madrid, we stopped for lunch one day at one of the restaurants downtown.
This time I did the same thing and looked at their menu for the traditional Spanish food. I chose the Ensaladilla Rusa.
The salad was surrounded by cold cuts, and my favorite was, of course, the Jamon Serrano. Yum and yum again! (This was my platter in Madrid).
What is Ensaladilla Rusa:
Ensaladilla Rusa is a potato salad that is very well known worldwide, but each country makes it different, using ingredients specific to their cuisine.
It might be popular in Spain, but the real recipe originated in Russia. This salad is traditional around the holidays in Russia, especially on New Year's Eve.
The Russian immigrants brought the salad to Argentina, Costa Rica, Peru, and Mexico. Over the years, each country adapted the recipe to its local ingredients.
What kind of ingredients go into this salad:
This version is the most popular in Spain and is made with:
- potatoes, carrots, boiled eggs, cooked peas, tuna, olives, roasted peppers, and mayonnaise.
Other ingredients that are optional or found in other Ensaladilla Rusa versions:
- Capers, shrimp, pickles, apples, walnuts, green celery
Overall, this humble, easy-to-make salad is delicious and uses ingredients that most people have in their pantry: potatoes, carrots, peas, a can of tuna, and mayo.
A few tips before you start making the recipe:
What kind of potatoes are suitable for this salad:
It would be best to use a less starchy potato, so the salad has some body and texture. Personally, I'm not too fond of potato salads where the potato is turned to mush because it was either boiled too much or is too starchy.
Red potatoes are a good option. Here you have a collection of recipes with potatoes to choose from. The article also explains what kind of potato to use in different recipes.
Cooking the vegetables:
Do not cook potatoes and carrots in the same pot. Carrots need more time to cook; therefore, they need to be cooked separately; otherwise, as I said before, the potatoes will be too cooked.
I used frozen peas that I cooked separately, but you can also use a drained can of peas. Or you can use fresh peas that you cook in a little bit of salty water. (see the Recipe Card for more info)
How To Serve This Spanish Potato Salad:
In Spain, this salad is served as tapas all year round. However, you can serve it as an appetizer. Or as a main meal with some cold cuts around.
It is delicious with bread, but please choose a good quality artisanal bread.
If you want to make your own, I recommend trying this recipe.
Slice it thinly and toast it before you serve it.
What to drink with this salad?
A nice glass of cold, white wine, like sauvignon, would be perfect.
Enjoy, and hope you are going to try it soon!
More recipes to love:
Spanish Potato Salad (Ensaladilla Rusa)- A Spanish Favorite
- 1 pound red waxy potatoes boiled
- ½ pound peeled medium carrots
- 2 hard boiled eggs
- 1 roasted pepper from the jar is fine
- 1 cup cooked peas
- 10 small pitted green olives preferably Spanish
- 1 can tuna 5 ounces
- 1 ½ cup mayonnaise
- salt and pepper to taste
- Wash and scrub the potatoes. Place them in a large pot filled with water.
- Use a smaller pot for cooking the peeled carrots. In the last 5 minutes, add the frozen peas.
- Add a teaspoon of salt to each pot, bring the water to a boil and cook the vegetables until soft but not mushy.
- Separately, cook the eggs for about 7 minutes, remove from the stove and cool them down in cold water. Remove shells and set them aside. Save an egg yolk for decoration.
- Remove the potatoes, carrots, and peas from the heat and let them cool.
- Peel the potatoes.
- Dice potatoes, carrots, eggs, and roasted pepper.
- Place them in a salad bowl.
- Add the cooked peas.
- Drain the can of tuna and add the fish to the vegetables.
- Chop the olives and add them to the salad.
- Add the mayo and mix well.
- Add salt and pepper to your taste.
- Decorate with shredded egg yolk.
- Refrigerate the salad for a while until cool enough, then serve.