Ensaladilla Rusa

I’d have a hard time picking a favorite tapa in Spain – so many delicious ones to choose from! But ensaladilla rusa – “little Russian salad” – is definitely up there on my list, especially because it’s slightly different in each bar you visit, but always delicious.

Another bonus: you can pretty easily get most of the ingredients in the US to prepare it at home. It’s also fun to prepare with kids. You can do all the prep work and chopping, and then each child can add in some of the prep bowls of ingredients and help with the mixing.

What you need:

  • 2-3 large potatoes
  • 2 small or 1 large can of tuna in olive oil (spring for the good stuff from Spain if you can)
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 cup of peas (frozen ones – defrosted obviously – hold their color well)
  • 1/2 of a small sweet onion
  • 1 can/jar of white asparagus
  • 1 can of anchovy-filled olives (you can usually find the Goya ones)
  • olive oil to taste
  • sherry vinegar to taste
  • salt to taste

1. First, get going on the prep work. Peel and slice the potatoes into small cubes, and the carrots into small slices.

2. Boil the potatoes, eggs, and carrots (in separate pots), and heat up the peas in the microwave. When the eggs are boiled, cut them in half, reserve the egg yolks, and finely chop the whites.

3. Finally, finely chop up the onion, and set aside in a small dish. Open the cans of tuna, olives, and asparagus, and finely chop half of the olives.

4. Ready to combine! Begin with the potatoes in a large bowl, and then add in the carrots, peas, tuna, onion, chopped egg whites, and chopped olives.

5. Add dressing and season. You’ll need a ratio of about 3/4 olive oil and 1/4 sherry vinegar. Pour it right into the bowl along with a couple of pinches of salt, and then continue to add whichever of these three you need to taste.

6. Spoon out the mixture into a serving dish or platter, then top with the remaining full olives, white asparagus, and crumbled egg yolks.


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