Try out my creamy ensalada rusa, this is a Spanish classic tapas salad! The ingredients that you need to make this are very simple. In it are boiled potatoes, green peas, diced carrots, canned tuna, pepper, salt and a good dollop of mayonnaise!
Chopped vegetables in a creamy mayo dressing?
This ensalada rusa is a great lunch salad.
You can also serve it as an appetizer with crunchy pita bread crisps on the side!
Here in Spain you can buy the ready made salads everywhere in the supermarkets if you like. However there is one problem with them if you ask me: they just contain far too much mayo to my liking.
And little vegetables.
But the solution is simple though.
Because I always make my own Russian style mayo and vegetable salad myself at home!
Why do I call it the best ensalada rusa ever?
Spanish or Russian?
Just because I like to keep my version very simple.
Only the essential ingredients. Nothing funny or wacko. I have tasted a bunch of these Spanish potato salads before for the record. That is what happens when you live in Spain for over 5 years.
Some were excellent, but others were a disaster.
Far too many unnecessary ingredients.
And perhaps quite a few leftovers from last night’s service. Not that there is something wrong with it. But you can’t just throw everything together, add mayo, give it a good stir and call it an ensalade rusa in the end.
Don’t make it too funky.
All that this is a Spanish classic tapas salad needs are very simple and everyday ingredients. In my version I only add the usual stuff such as diced boiled potatoes, green peas, diced carrots, flaky canned tuna and a good dollop of mayonnaise.
A good dash of freshly cracked black pepper.
A little sprinkle of salt.
Best Ensalada Rusa Ever (Spanish Potato Salad)
True, there are many versions of this Spanish ensalada rusa.
However the 3 main ingredients are always potatoes, carrots and green peas. That is where you have to start from.
After that you can also add other ingredients as well such as canned tuna, sliced olives, crushed almonds and hard-boiled eggs if you like. I kept my potato salad very simple and classic this time though. I just added some canned tuna to the vegetables.
I like my Russian salad plain and simple.
However I once tasted this Spanish potato salad in a bar in Sevilla once.
It contained diced potatoes, green peas, mayo and carrots. And also little chunks of grilled octopus. Nothing more.
What a delight! I can still taste it.
Making this salad is very straight forward. There is nothing difficult about it. But I do think that a homemade ensalada rusa is such a treat. It is surprising how everyday ingredients can make such a delicious treat.
It is just mayo with diced veg actually!
But so good.
What I have found out is that it is better to add the mayonnaise to the vegetables while they are still warm and strained drained well.
It makes the ensalada rusa just that little extra creamy. Because if the cooked vegetables are cold or too wet, the mayo will not get absorbed as much as it should. Especially by the potatoes.
Are you making this salad in advance?
Then I suggest that you assemble it straight away and put it in the fridge.
I served this ensalada rusa as a lunch salad with breadsticks and rusk.
Chopped Vegetable Salads
Do you love a good chopped salad?
Then you should also check out my chopped green bean salad with a garlicky cream cheese dressing!
Or do you prefer to keep it light and fresh? Then also take a look at my Thai chopped prawn salad!
Best Spanish Ensalada Rusa Recipe
- 10,5 oz floury potatoes (300 g)
- 5,5 oz fresh carrots (155 g)
- 5,5 oz frozen green peas (155 g)
- 3 tbsp mayonnaise
- 5,5 oz canned tuna (155 g)
1) Peel the potatoes and carrots, rinse both and chop them into small dice. Fill a large saucepan with water, add a dash of salt and place it over high heat until boiling. Then add the diced potatoes.
2) Cook for 3 minutes. Then add the carrots.
3) Cook for 4 more minutes. Now add the frozen peas.
4) Cook for another 2 minutes. Then immediately strain the cooked vegetables and rinse them under ice cold running tap water to stop the cooking process. Let them drain a little.
5) Pour the warm carrots, potatoes and peas in a large mixing bowl. Add the mayonnaise. Season with a little pepper and salt.
6) Drain the canned tuna and also add it to the bowl.
7) Stir well. Then check the seasoning and add extra pepper or salt to taste if necessary. Serve the ensalada rusa at room temperature, not cold.
Who invented the ensalada rusa?
Ensalada Rusa i also known as Russian salad or Olivier salad.
It is a popular dish that has a complex history and is associated with several individuals.
The salad’s origins are traced back to Lucien Olivier, a Belgian chef who worked in Moscow in the mid-19th century.
He is often credited with creating the original version of the salad at the Hermitage restaurant in Moscow.
However, the recipe has evolved over time and has been adapted in various countries.
Different versions of the salad with various ingredients and variations have emerged in different culinary traditions. The version known as ensalada rusa in Spanish-speaking countries is a variation of the original Olivier Salad, with ingredients such as potatoes, carrots, peas and mayonnaise.
So, while Lucien Olivier is associated with the creation of the original Russian salad, its evolution into various regional versions, including ensalada rusa, has been shaped by different cultures and culinary influences.
Why is ensalada rusa so popular in Spain?
Ensalada rusa’s popularity in Spain can be attributed to its historical introduction, adaptability to local tastes, and versatility as a comforting dish featuring familiar ingredients like potatoes, carrots, peas, and mayonnaise.
Its suitability for various occasions, particularly during the warm months, and its integration into Spanish culinary culture as a result of cultural fusion have solidified its position as a beloved and widely enjoyed dish in the country.
You will surely find this vegetable salad in lots of bars and tapas restaurants all over Spain.
Can I add meat or fish to an ensalada rusa?
While the traditional version of ensalada rusa typically includes vegetables like potatoes, carrots and peas in a mayonnaise-based dressing, variations of the dish can include additional ingredients such as cooked meat (such as chicken or ham) or fish (such as tuna).
I even had this salad in Sevilla with chunks of grilled octopus in it!
These additions can enhance the flavor and nutritional content of the salad, providing protein and a different texture.
The adaptability of ensalada rusa allows for creativity in incorporating ingredients that suit your preferences and dietary needs.