Recipe for Ensaladilla Rusa – Spanish Potato Salad


Potato salad may not seem like a very traditional Spanish dish, but it is actually one of the standard tapas dishes that you can find throughout Spain. It does vary slightly from region to region but this recipe is the basic one. The potatoes shouldn’t be drowned in mayonnaise, just lightly coated so that the flavours mingle and the mayo just complements the rest of the salad.

This is a good recipe to make ahead earlier in the day, and will keep till the next day, but as with any mayonnaise dish, it doesn’t keep well for more than a couple of days.


3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 large carrot, peeled and diced

125g / 40oz green beans, topped and tailed

¼ cup peas, fresh or frozen

½ medium onion or red onion finely sliced

1 small red pepper, chopped

4 gherkins, sliced

2 tablespoons capers

12 olives stuffed with anchovies

1 hardboiled egg, sliced

For the dressing

2/3 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper

Parsley to garnish

Put the potato cubes and carrots in a pan of lightly salted water and bring to the boil. Simmer until they are almost tender, then add the green beans. IF you are using fresh peas, add them at the same time. Frozen peas can be added after a few more minutes. Cook the vegetables together until they are all tender. Drain them well and tip them onto a serving bowl or platter.

When the vegetables have cooled, gently fold in the rest of the main ingredients: the onion, pepper, gherkins, capers, olives and egg slices.

In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise well with the lemon juice and mustard. Pout this dressing over the ingredients on the serving platter, season with freshly ground black pepper, then carefully toss the salad until all the ingredients are well coated. Sprinkle the parsley over to garnish. Keep refrigerated, but let the salad stand at room temperature for an hour before serving to allow the flavours to develop.

For more great tapas ideas, eat out at one of Derbyshire’s Spanish restaurants.

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