As long as I can remember, my mom, Mama Elena, would make ensaladilla rusa on special occasions and it was one of my favorite things to eat. So much so, that little me would quietly hoard it to ensure that I received a larger portion of it than the classic small tapas serving.
My mom brought it over on Christmas Eve as she does every year, and it occurred to me that I had not shared this classic and beloved Spanish tapa on the blog yet!
Truth be told, I just had it for breakfast because if it’s in the fridge, it’s pretty much the only thing I want to eat. It was a huge sacrifice to not finish it last night so I could take better photos of it in the morning light to share with you all. This means…I really love you guys.
It’s called ensaladilla rusa, which translates to “russian salad” because in fact it actually did originate in Moscow, were the Belgian chef Lucien Olivier invented this fancy potato salad while working at the equally fancy, Hermitage Restaurant. Countries have adapted his recipe and personalized it to suit every taste you could imagine.
The classic Spanish version calls for mayonnaise, potatoes, tuna, carrots and peas but my mom does a very different version that excludes the peas for red peppers and sliced green olives.
A great side dish or tapa to make for all those New Years parties and dinners!
My Mama Elena's version of the classic Ensaladilla Rusa!
- 6 medium potatoes
- 4 eggs
- 24 baby carrots
- 2 small jars of pitted green olives
- 2 small jars of red roaster pepper
- 2 cans of solid white tuna in water
- Light mayonnaise (15 oz. jar)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Boil potatoes until they are soft. Once they cool, peel the skin and cut the potatoes into little cubes
- Boil the eggs. After peeling the eggs, cut two of the eggs into little squares. Use the remaining two decorate the top of the salad - makes for a nice presentation.
- Boil the carrots and slice them into small bits
- Slice the pitted olives into little bits
- Slice the roasted red peppers into bits. You can also slice some pepper strips to make a nice poinsettia pin wheel on top of the salad for decoration. My mama takes pride in her fancy poinsettia decor. Feel free to omit this step if you're in a rush. ;)
- Flake the solid tuna fish so it's also all in little bits
- Mix everything together
- Add the light mayonnaise or feel free to do it the Spanish way and make your own homemade mayo - we go the easy route most of the time.