Ensalada Rusa (“Russian” Potato Salad) is one of our most popular recipes and a favorite in all our parties and holiday meals.
Ensalada Rusa (Russian Salad) in a Dominican blog? Why yes! Practically every country on earth has a version of potato salad, and many also call theirs “Russian salad”.
What is Russian potato salad?
This salad whose main ingredients are potatoes, eggs, and mayonnaise is a pillar of Dominican food, an indispensable dish in our Christmas dinner, and very popular throughout the Hispanic world. This potato salad is known in practically all countries of the western world, each country with different variations.
Where does Russian salad originate from?
In a shocking non-twist, Russian salad did come from Russia after all!
The original salad contained ingredients it does no longer, like beef tongue, cold cuts, and lettuce, although it probably changed with the seasons, or availability of ingredients.
Who invented the Russian salad?
The original “Russian salad” recipe was created by the chef Lucien Olivier who worked at the prestigious Hermitage Restaurant in Moscow at the turn of the 19th Century. The original Olivier salad (as it is still known in many countries) did not contain mayo, but a signature dressing that is now lost in time, but almost certainly contained mustard and oil from Provence.
This is why this dish is known as Salade Olivier in France.
“Russian” potato salad recipes
In some places (as in France) this is still called Salade Olivier, and in Spain, the Spanish potato salad is known as Ensaladilla or Ensaladilla Rusa, and it is also served as tapas. In much of Latin America, it is simply Ensalada Rusa. Each country, region, or home has its own variations. Another name by which Ensalada Rusa is known in our country is Ensalada Mixta (Mixed Salad).
In the Dominican Republic, depending on the occasion and preferences, you can make a potato salad with apples, or a pink potato salad by adding beets. The first one is the most common for Christmas. Like all our dishes, there may be as many variations as there are homes in the country.
In our country, it has become what is probably the most popular salad and is always present at all types of occasions. From the informal family reunions to the elaborate Christmas dinner table. From lunch to dinner.
Depending on the family’s taste, and on the occasion, different versions of this salad may be served. Two common versions are the one that includes beets and another with apples. This last one is the one usually served for Christmas.
About our Dominican Ensalada Rusa recipe
I have found countless variations of this dish, depending on the cook’s taste, the strangest have been an Ensalada Rusa salad with raisins, one to which the cook added sugar, and even a spicy one. In general, the recipes we present here are closer to the most common way to make it, and they are, of course, how I learned to make it from my mother.
How do make your Dominican potato salad?
Ensalada Rusa Recipe (“Russian” Potato Salad)
- 1 lb [0.45 kg] of potatoes
- 2 large carrots
- 3 eggs
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 1 medium beetroot (optional)
- 1 apple (any variety)
- 1 medium red onion , diced into small cubes
- 1/2 cup of sweet corn (optional)
- 1/2 cup of blanched or canned green peas (optional)
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- Boil together the potatoes, carrots and eggs with a teaspoon of salt.
- Boil the beetroot in a different pot (do not use beetroot if you are going to use apple).
- Peel potatoes, carrots, eggs, apple (or beetroot) and dice into small cubes.
- Mix potatoes, carrots, eggs, apple (or beetroot), onion. corn and peas. Add mayonnaise and mix.
- Season with salt to taste.
- Serve chilled.