This Spanish potato salad, known as Ensalada Rusa, makes for a deliciously hearty lunch. It’s made with potatoes, carrots, boiled eggs, tuna and mayonnaise and is ready in just 30 minutes.
About Ensalada Rusa
You’ll find Ensalada Rusa in many Spanish tapas bars and it includes potatoes, carrots, eggs and often tuna and peas.
You’ll often find it will vary slightly depending on which part of Spain you’re in. For example, shrimp is a popular addition in the south.
If have time to make your own, then a homemade mayo can add some extra flavor to the potatoes.
If you’re happy to try something a little bit less traditional, you can also make it with a Spanish-style sherry vinaigrette.
It uses extra virgin olive oil, sherry vinegar, dijon mustard and smoked paprika and really adds some lovely flavors to the vegetables.
Feel free to experiment and you can whip up this light potato salad in no time.
Why You Should Try This Spanish Potato Salad
- It’s a light, healthy lunch that’s packed full of veggies: the carrots, sweetcorn, red pepper and tomatoes give you 4 servings of vegetables. The tuna is also an easy way to get some omega-3 fats into your diet, which is a nutrient many of us don’t get enough of — but is important for reducing inflammation and improving brain health.
- It’s easy to change depending on your preferences: the base of the carrots and potatoes is important, but outside of those, you can easily adjust depending on what you have on hand. You can add peas for extra veggies, remove the tuna if you aren’t a fan of fish or change up the dressing.
- It’s packed with protein: the boiled egg and tuna combine for a good serving of protein, with 33g per serving. If you’re doing a lot of exercise and weight lifting, then getting that extra protein in lunch is ideal.
You’ll need the ingredients below to make this Spanish potato salad, serving 2 people.
- Potatoes: we used 3 medium white potatoes for this recipe, which is roughly 1 lb of potatoes. You can substitute equal amounts of red-skinned or yellow-skinned potatoes.
- 1 carrot: the carrot adds some extra sweetness to the dish.
- 2 eggs: we cook these for 8-12 minutes. This will produce a yolk that is solid. You can cook for less time but the yolk will be runnier.
- 150g canned tuna: try to get the tuna in water as tuna in brine will alter the change a lot more.
- 1 large roasted red pepper: we’ve used a slice of roasted pepper as they work well in salads and don’t need any cooking. As it is just the carrots, eggs and potatoes that are boiled, it’s a lot of effort to start roasting veg as well.
- 20 black olives: they add a slightly salty flavor and combined with the cherry tomatoes, are reminiscent of a greek salad.
- ¼ cup (40g) canned sweetcorn: peas are a good substitute here and are often used in traditional ensalada rusa anyway.
- 100g cherry tomatoes: any tomatoes will work, just be sure they are cut into small pieces.
- 10g parsley: feel free to experiment with the herbs used, like mint or basil.
- 115g mayonnaise: we recommend using a light mayonnaise, as the standard versions are quite calorific and high in saturated fats.
These are the ingredients you’ll need to make the dressing. Traditionally, you can just use mayonnaise, but this dressing definitely takes the potato salad to the next level:
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil: if you can get extra virgin olive oil, then it is far healthier than other types of olive oil as it is less refined.
- 1 tbsp sherry vinegar: if you don’t have sherry vinegar, then white wine vinegar is a great alternative. White wine vinegar is better than red wine vinegar since it has a milder taste and doesn’t overpower the other flavors.
- ½ tsp dijon mustard
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
How to Make this Ensalada Rusa
Step 1 – Brush and clean the potatoes and carrots. Bring a pan with water to a boil, add 1 tsp salt, then add the potatoes and let simmer.
Step 2 – Boil the potatoes for about 25 minutes, add the carrots after 10-15 minutes after the potatoes (the carrots will need about 10-15 minutes to boil) and add the eggs 13-17 minutes after the potatoes (boil the eggs for about 8-12 minutes).
Step 3 – While the ingredients are boiling, dice the roasted red pepper, cut the black olives and cherry tomatoes in half, and drain the tuna and sweetcorn. Add them to a bowl along with the mayonnaise and mix thoroughly.
Step 4 (optional) To prepare the dressing, mix the sherry vinegar, olive oil, dijon mustard and smoked paprika with a pinch of sugar in a jar. Shake to combine.
Step 5 – Once the vegetables and eggs are boiled, rinse them a couple of times and leave them to sit in the cold water to cool for a moment. Once cooled, chop the potatoes and carrots into small cubes and cut the eggs into thin slices.
Step 6 – Add the potatoes to the other ingredients along with the dressing, then mix everything together thoroughly. Sprinkle some parsley to serve.
What ingredients are used in this salad?
The version most used in Spain contains potatoes, carrots, boiled eggs, roasted pepper, olives, tuna, sweetcorn, cherry tomatoes, mayonnaise and parsley.
However, we’ve used sweetcorn instead of peas in this version. Different variations of ensalada rusa can include shrimp, pickles, capers, walnuts, celery and even apples.
How do you serve this Spanish potato salad?
In Spain it is served as tapas or an appetizer, often as part of some cold cuts, or even with bread.
However, since there are a lot more ingredients within this particular recipe that add plenty of calories, it makes for an excellent lunch by itself.
What potatoes should you use?
You want to try and use a potato that is less starchy. High-starch potatoes tend to fall apart or get too soft when boiled and lose their texture.
Low-starch include waxy potatoes and red-skinned potatoes. High-starch potatoes include russet potatoes. However, don’t fret if you only have a particular type of potato.
How long can I store it?
Store in an airtight container. Keep in the fridge for up to 3 days or the freezer for up to 6 months.
Spanish Potato Salad (Ensalada Rusa)
- 3 medium potatoes
- 1 carrot
- 2 eggs
- 5oz (150g) canned tuna, drained
- 1 large roasted red pepper
- 20 black olives
- ¼ cup (40g) canned sweetcorn
- ½ cup( 100g) cherry tomatoes
- Handful parsley
- ½ cup (115g) mayonnaise (optional)
To Make the Salad Dressing:
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
- ½ tsp dijon mustard
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- Brush and clean the potatoes and carrots. Bring a pan with water to a boil, add 1 tsp salt, then add the potatoes and let simmer.
- Boil the potatoes for about 25 minutes, add the carrots after 10-15 minutes after the potatoes (the carrots will need about 10-15 minutes to boil) and add the eggs 13-17 minutes after the potatoes (boil the eggs for about 8-12 minutes).
- While the ingredients are boiling, dice the roasted red pepper, cut the black olives and cherry tomatoes in half, and drain the tuna and sweetcorn. Add them to a bowl along with the mayonnaise and mix thoroughly.
- To prepare the dressing (optional), mix the sherry vinegar, olive oil, dijon mustard and smoked paprika with a pinch of sugar in a jar. Shake to combine.
- Once the vegetables and eggs are boiled, rinse them a couple of times and leave them to sit in the cold water to cool for a moment.
- Once cooled, chop the potatoes and carrots into small cubes and cut the eggs into thin slices.
- Add the potatoes to the other ingredients along with the dressing, then mix everything together thoroughly.
- Plate, then sprinkle some parsley to serve.
- Cook the vegetables until soft but not mushy.
- If you are making the sherry vinaigrette, then you don't need to add the mayonnaise.
Amount Per Serving Calories 661Total Fat 31gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gCholesterol 203mgSodium 843mgCarbohydrates 66gFiber 11gSugar 10gProtein 33g
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