Ensalada rusa or ensalada mixta (potato salad) is one of our most popular recipes and a favorite salad at all our celebrations and holiday meals. It cannot be left out of our Christmas and New Year's feasts, and it's a favorite at parties, parrilladas, and fun family get-togethers.
By- Last reviewed . Published Dec 21, 2003
Why we ❤️ it
Ensalada Rusa in a Dominican blog? Why yes! Practically every country on earth has a version of potato salad, and many also call theirs some version of "Russian potato salad". In our country, it has become what is probably the most popular salad and is always present on all types of occasions, from informal family gatherings to Christmas. From lunch to dinner.
Follow this recipe to learn two versions of this unforgettable, creamy, flavorful potato salad that will be a big success at the table.
What is ensalada rusa?
Ensalada rusa is a salad in which the main ingredients are potatoes, eggs, and mayonnaise. This potato salad is known in practically all countries of the western world, each country with different variations, and is very popular throughout the Hispanic world.
Dominican ensalada rusa
The Dominican ensalada rusa recipe – or ensalada mixta as we also call the Dominican potato salad – has touches that set it apart from other countries' versions.
There are as many varieties of this salad as there are homes in the DR. Optional ingredients are added (or not) in some homes. Other options include adding a dash of vinegar, or a pinch of sugar to the salad. Experiment until you find the version you like most.
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.
- The best trick I can share with you is to dice all the vegetables and hard-boiled eggs into small pieces and do it uniformly so you don't have big chunks in the salad.
- Good quality mayonnaise is also a top priority, it dictates much of the taste and texture of the salad.
- Add enough mayo so that the salad is loose and creamy, but if you find that even after adding all the mayonnaise it is still a bit stodgy, you can mix in a couple of tablespoons of very cold water.
How to store
- Keep the salad chilled at all times until it's time to consume unless you'll serve it shortly after finishing it.
- Can you freeze it ensalada rusa? No, you cannot. Russian salad does not freeze well, in my opinion at least, and this is why: I tried freezing both with and without adding the mayo first. Without the mayo, it wasn't nearly as bad, but the eggs did not freeze well, though it was still sorta edible. The salad already mixed with the mayo was mushy, with chewy pieces of eggs. Not enjoyable at all. If you have a different experience, I'd love to hear it.
- Waxy potatoes (like Yukon) are best for this salad as they don't turn too mushy when boiled and diced. Russet potatoes can also be used.
Ensalada rusa or ensalada mixta.
Dominican potato salad is one of the most popular of our Christmas recipes, where it is served next to our Christmas pork roast (chicken or turkey too), as well as Pasteles en hoja, Pasteles de yuca (and try our very easy Pastelón en hoja), Pastelón de plátano maduro and Moro de guandules.
About our recipe
I have found countless variations of this dish, depending on the cook's taste. The strangest ones 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.
You can read a lot more about ensalada rusa below the recipe.
How do you make your Dominican potato salad?
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Ensalada Rusa or Mixta [Recipe + Video] Potato Salad 2 Ways
- 1 pound potatoes, [0.45 kg] I prefer Yukon or any other waxy potato
- 2 large carrots
- 3 egg (medium)
- 2 teaspoons salt, or more, to taste (divided)
- 1 medium beetroot, (optional)
- 1 apple, (any variety)
- 1 medium red onion
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- ½ cup sweet corn, (optional)
- ½ cup green peas, blanched or canned (optional)
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- Place the potatoes, carrots, and eggs in a large pot and add enough water to cover them (and extra). Add a tablespoon of salt. After 12 minutes have passed, remove the eggs from the water and continue boiling the carrots and potatoes until they are cooked through.
2. Boil the beetroot
- Boil the beetroot in a different pot until it's cooked through and tender (check doneness with a fork). Do not use beetroot if you are going to use apple in the salad.
3. Peeling and dicing
- Once cooled to room temperature, peel potatoes, carrots, eggs, apple (or beetroot), and dice into small cubes.
- Mince the onion, add vinegar and let it rest until it's time to mix with the rest of the ingredients (at least 10 minutes). Discard the vinegar. This will make the onion less pungent.
5. To make pink potato salad
- Mix potatoes, carrots, eggs, beetroot, onion, corn, and peas. Add mayonnaise and mix. Season with salt to taste.
To make apple potato salad
- Mix potatoes, carrots, eggs, apple, onion, corn, and peas. Add mayonnaise and mix. Season with salt to taste.
6. Store and serve
- Keep salad chilled at all times until it's time to consume unless you'll serve it shortly after finishing it.You can either serve chilled or at room temperature, depending on your preferences.
Nutritional information is calculated automatically based on ingredients listed. Please consult your doctor if you need precise nutrition information.
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In a shocking non-twist, ensalada rusa did come from Russia after all! The original salad contained several other ingredients, like beef tongue, cold cuts, capers, and lettuce, although this probably changed with the seasons, or availability of ingredients.
The original ensalada rusa recipe was created by chef Lucien Olivier  who worked at the prestigious Hermitage Restaurant in Moscow in the 19th century. The original Olivier salad (as it is still known in many countries) did not contain mayonnaise, but a signature dressing that is now lost in time, which almost certainly contained mustard and oil from Provence.
In some places (like France and Russia) this is still called Salade Olivier , and in Spain, the Spanish potato salad is known as Ensaladilla or Ensaladilla Rusa , and 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).