Spanish Potato Salad (Ensaladilla Rusa)
Ensaladilla Rusa is one of Spain's most typical tapas dishes. One of the keys to making a good ensaladilla is making a homemade mayonaise. This is not difficult and adds wonderful flavor to the recipe.
2¼ pounds (1 kilogram) of potatoes
1 pound (1/2 Kilogram) of carrots
1 pound (1/2 Kilogram) of green beans
1 tablespoon of capers
½ pound (1/4 kilogram) of peas
1 hard-boiled egg
1 can of high quality tuna fish packed in olive oil or 1 cup cooked shrimp
Salt and pepper
for the mayonaise:
⅔ cup (160 ml) Olive oil
lemon juice and salt
1. Prepare the potatoes: peel the potatoes and put them in a large pot. Cover them with cold water and a pinch of salt. Bring them to a boil and cook until just tender-- don't overcook them or they'll fall apart. Let them cool completely and carefully cut them into a cubes.
2. Prepare the carrots, peel them first and then add them to cold water. Bring to a boil and take off the heat the moment they become tender (you want to cook them just a
enough that they aren't crunchy, yet still firm). When cool, cut them lengthwise into quarters and then dice them.
3. Boil the green beans until cooked and dice.
4. Boil the peas until cooked.
5. Prepare the shrimp if using. Add raw shrimp to a pot of boiling water, leave in for 1-2 minutes until the water just starts to boil again, then take them out and put them right into a bowl with ice and cold water. Peel when cool.
To prepare the mayonaise:
1. Beat the eggs with a stick blender or hand blender. If using a stick blender, keep the beater down on the bottom of the cup or bowl.
2. Slowly drizzle the olive oil into the eggs and watch as the mixture magically turns into mayonnaise. Don’t lift the beaters or blenders -- keep them immersed in the concoction until the bottom of the mixture starts to really thicken and turn to mayonnaise.
3. Once the bottom half of the mixture has turned to mayonnaise, you may lift up the mixer to finish mixing in the oil at the top.
4. Add salt and a bit of lemon juice to taste while continuing to blend.
Put it all together:
In a large bowl gently mix together all the cooked vegetables, the diced hard boiled egg and either the tuna or the shrimp. Add mayonaise to your desired consistency. Try not to overmix the ensaladilla so that the potato does not completely fall apart.
You can decorate the top of the ensaladilla with sliced hard-boiled egg.
**Some ensaladilla recipes call for the addition of capers or chopped gurkin pickle, which you can also add. Serve the ensaladilla with a crusty bread or with Spanish picos (hard breadsticks)