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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ensaladilla Rusa

This ubiquitous dish is served throughout every region of Spain, with little variation. It can be terrible in some bars and excellent in others.  The best way to insure that your ensaladilla rusa is well above average is to make it at home. If you are going to make it at home go the extra distance and make your own mayonnaise which only takes a few seconds if you have a hand mixer.

  • 3 medium (16 oz) potatoes
  • 1 large (3 oz) carrot, diced
  • 5 tablespoons shelled green peas
  • 2/3 cup  green beans
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 cocktail gherkins, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons baby capers
  • 12 anchovy-stuffed olives
  • 1 hard-cooked egg, sliced thin
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Chopped fresh parsley, to garnish

In a saucepan, cook the potatoes and carrot in “aggressively salted water” (chef Mario Batali’s words). Bring to a boil and allow to simmer until almost tender. Fold in the peas and beans, and cook until all the vegetables are tender. Drain the vegetables and transfer them into a serving platter. Add the onion, pepper, gherkins, baby capers, anchovy-stuffed olives, and egg slices.

My version
In a separate bowl, thoroughly combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice and mustard. Add this mixture to the serving platter, mixing well to ensure all the ingredients are coated. Sprinkle with pepper and toss. Garnish with chopped parsley and refrigerate. Allow to stand at room temperature for about 1 hour immediately before serving to enhance the salad's flavor. As any dish made with mayonnaise, ensaladilla should be refrigerated and will not keep for more than 1 to 2 days.

Here is the version of José Andrés:

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