Ensalada Rusa – Russian Salad

Ensalada Rusa

This is probably the most popular of the Spanish salads and is found everywhere from airports to Tapas bars. This salad, Ensalada Rusa was purportedly invented in the 1860s by Belgian Lucien Olivier, the chef of the Hermitage, one of Moscow’s most celebrated restaurants at the time. The recipe was stolen and has since been published many times over with different ingredients and is popular in many countries across the Eurpean continent.

Ensalada Rusa a dish that I had ever only tasted in Spain and after an absence of many years I returned to Spain and was reunited with this salad, which I must admit I enjoyed much more than I did as a child. Basically it is a potato salad with egg, mayonnaise of course, peas, baby white asparagus, tuna and sometimes with small cubes of chicken. There are many recipes out there that have different ingredients, but I always make this version and find it to my taste.

Serves 6-8


  1kg potatoes such as a Charlotte or Maris Piper
  1 large tin peas and carrots
  1 jar white asparagus tips
  4 eggs
  1 tin tuna
  Salt and pepper

Preparation method:

Dice the potato and boil in a pot of water until cooked but not too soft as you don’t want them to fall apart.

Hard boil the eggs.

Leave the potatoes and eggs to cool down a bit. Drain the peas and carrots and chop the carrots into smaller pieces. Drain the asparagus tips.

Drain the tin of tuna.

Place in a bowl and mix in a good amount of mayonnaise until nicely coated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with some nice smoked pimenton before serving.