Ensalada Rusa or Russian Potato Salad is a very popular dish in many Caribbean and Latin American countries. Today, I will show you the version which is often prepared in the Dominican Republic.
This Dominican-style Ensalada Rusa recipe is easy to make, relatively quick, and is a fantastic colorful addition to the table. It is made with fresh nutritious ingredients and basic flavor-packed seasonings.
So, give this recipe a try and let me know what you think in the comments below. And make sure to go check out some of my other incredibly delicious and easy Dominican recipes.
What Is Spanish Ensalada Rusa?
Spanish Ensalada Rusa is another term used to describe this potato salad which is popular in many Spanish-speaking countries. And, this salad actually has some surprising origins.
Ensalada Rusa is actually originally from Russia. It goes by an even more common name, Olivier salad. This salad is traditionally made from diced potatoes, carrots, pickles, green peas, onions, eggs, meat (chicken or sausage), and finally, mayonnaise. It also has quite a few flavoring ingredients like mustard and tart apples.
The Dominican Republic drew inspiration from this dish, as they do for many others, and created a version similar to Spanish ensaladilla (the Spanish version of an Olivier salad).
What Do You Need To Make This Dominican Potato Salad?
So, what exactly goes into a Dominican ensaladilla rusa? This version of the salad is very similar to the Russian one. However, it doesn’t contain any meat.
Potatoes And Carrots
The potatoes and carrots create the base of the recipe. They can be diced in any size that you’d like. But, I have found that 3-inch blocks work best for an easy-to-eat salad.
You should also always choose the freshest vegetables you can find. This will help ensure that the cooked flavor and texture are refreshing and as authentic as they can be.
Next, you will also add red onion, canned beets, green peas, and canned sweet corn to this recipe.
These are all ingredients commonly found in Dominican cuisine. You can buy canned and bottled versions of these ingredients, or use freshly cooked alternatives.
This recipe uses boiled eggs, like most other potato salad recipes. I like to boil my eggs for 8 minutes to make hard-boiled eggs. This won’t add a gooey yellow element to the salad. It avoids making it look messy and adding a weird texture.
If you do like the runny egg in potato salad, feel free to boil the egg for less time.
Next up, arguably the second most important ingredient in any potato salad recipe, the mayonnaise.
Now, I just bought some mayonnaise from the store. However, you can make your own mayonnaise at home. And it’s easier than you may think!
This is also where you can choose a vegan alternative, a low-fat or low-calorie option, or a flavored mayo to make things more interesting.
Finally, I only added some very basic seasoning ingredients to this recipe. Salt and freshly ground black pepper are obvious additions.
I also added some white wine vinegar. You can also use any other type that you’d like (even lemon juice will work). But white wine vinegar specifically gives the salad a semi-sweet tanginess.
HOW TO MAKE ENSALADA RUSA?
There are a couple of ways how you can do this delicious salad.
Start by cooking the potatoes and carrots. I like to dice them up into 3-inch pieces and boil them until they are fork-tender. A few minutes before they are done, I add the peas to the pot.
While the potatoes and carrots are boiling, hard-boil the eggs for 8 minutes. This will make them perfectly hard-boiled without that green ring around the yolk.
Once the eggs are done, add them to cold water, peel them, and dice them into small pieces.
After the potatoes, carrots, and peas have cooked, let them cool a bit before adding them to a large bowl. Then, simply mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl, add the mayo, and season to taste with salt, pepper, and vinegar.
What’s the difference between a Spanish potato salad and a Russian potato salad?
The main difference between these salads is that the Russian potato salad typically contains some type of meat. Most Spanish versions, and the Dominican Republic version specifically, usually don’t contain any meat.
What can you serve with Ensalada Rusa?
Can you leave out the mayonnaise in the potato salad?
I do not recommend just leaving out the mayonnaise completely If you don’t have it or like it, rather use an alternative. This can be sour cream, greek yogurt, hummus, or avocado. Not all of them will be as great as real mayonnaise, but they will do as an alternative.
Can you freeze Ensalada Rusa?
You can definitely freeze potato salad. However, the texture won’t be nearly as creamy and tender as it is fresh. So, if you can at all avoid freezing it, definitely do. Luckily my recipe is quick and easy, so it won’t take too long to make from scratch.
Ensalada Rusa (Russian Potato Salad)
- 1 1/2 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed into 3-inch pieces
- 1/2 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 3-inch pieces
- 4 large eggs
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1 cup sliced cooked beets
- 1/2 cup green peas, frozen
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- Fine salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- First, peel and dice the potatoes and carrots into 3-inch pieces.
- To start, add water to a large pot and add your diced potatoes and carrots. Season the water with some fine salt.
- Add the lid to the pot and allow the vegetables to cook over medium-high heat for about 15 to 20 minutes or until they become fork tender.
- While the vegetables are cooking, add water into a second large pot. Then, add your eggs and bring the water to a simmer. Cook the eggs for 8 minutes. They should be hard-boiled. Once the eggs are removed, place them in ice water so they cool completely.
- While the eggs are boiling, add the diced and soaked red onion, sliced beets, frozen peas, and canned corn kernels. Allow them to cook for roughly 5 minutes. If they aren't soft yet, leave them for a little longer until they become completely cooked.
- Once the potato, carrots, and peas mixture has been completely cooked, strain the vegetables from the water and place them in a separate bowl to cool.
- Peel and cut the cold eggs into small pieces. Add them to the bowl.
- Next, add the mayonnaise to the bowl and mix the ingredients well. Season the potato salad with some vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste.