Ensaladilla rusa Spanish Potato Salad

This traditional tapa is served throughout every region of Spain, with little variation. A poorly made version will taste like a mouthful of mayonnaise. On the other hand, a well-made ensaladilla rusa is a perfectly balanced mixture of potatoes, hard-cooked eggs, and vegetables, using the mayonnaise solely to accent these other flavors. This colorful salad is served at nearly every tapas bar; it is even served free at times with an order of beer.

  • Serves: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Preparation time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 medium (16 oz) potatoes
  • 1 large (3 oz) carrot, diced
  • 5 tablespoons shelled green peas
  • 2/3 cup (4 oz) green beans
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 cocktail gherkins, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons baby capers
  • 12 anchovy-stuffed olives
  • 1 hard-cooked egg, sliced thin
  • 2/3 cup (5 fl. oz) mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Chopped fresh parsley, to garnish

Preparation

In a saucepan, cook the potatoes and carrot in lightly salted water. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer until almost tender. Fold in the peas and beans, and cook until all the vegetables are tender. Drain the vegetables and transfer them into a serving platter. Add the onion, pepper, gherkins, baby capers, anchovy-stuffed olives, and egg slices.

In a separate bowl, thoroughly combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice and mustard. Add this mixture to the serving platter, mixing well to ensure all the ingredients are coated. Sprinkle with pepper and toss. Garnish with chopped parsley and refrigerate. Allow to stand at room temperature for about 1 hour immediately before serving to enhance the salad's flavor. As any dish made with mayonnaise, ensaladilla should be refrigerated and will not keep for more than 1 to 2 days.

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    Tapas have been a tradition for centuries in Spain; why not introduce your friends and family to tapas with this beautiful gift basket? Each product is a customer favorite, selected to represent Spain's finest foods. And each item is ready to serve at a moment's notice, no preparation needed.

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