Ensaladilla/ensalada rusa (Russian salad) or ensaladilla/ensalada Olivier is the most popular Spanish vegetable salad, which was probably created in 1860 by Belgian Lucien Oliver, chef of Hermitage restaurant in Moscow. Except for the name, Spanish Russian salad has little in common with the original recipe invented by Olivier, who depending on the season was adding to it grouse, veal tongue, caviar, capers, crayfish or smoked duck. Spanish ensalada rusa is similar to Polish vegetable salad, but apart from potatoes, carrots, peas and eggs contains also tuna, green olives, and grilled red pepper. Some add to it crab sticks and/or pickled cucumbers called in Spanish pepinillos.
Ingredients (serves 4):
1 red bell pepper
100 g peas (frozen or canned)
100 g canned tuna
1 handful of green olives (mine were stuffed with anchovies)
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
salt and freshly ground pepper
Potatoes, carrots and bell pepper can be prepared the day before. Wash the pepper, dry it and put on a baking tray. Roast for about 40-45 minutes in an oven preheated to 180-200ºC. Boil the potatoes and carrots without peeling. Put frozen peas into hot water and cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain and put them into cold water, thanks to this the peas won't lose their intense green colour. Drain the water or the oil from the tuna and olives. Hard boil the eggs.
Peel boiled potatoes and carrots and cut them into cubes. Peel the red pepper, discard stem and seeds and cut it into cubes. Dice the olives and eggs. Put all ingredients into a bowl, season with salt and pepper. Add mayonnaise and mix well. Refrigerate for a few hours before serving.