Ensaladilla Rusa: A Hispanic Salad with Russian Roots

Carbonell-Heritage Recipe Ensaladilla Rusa
Although this salad was invented by the Belgian chef, Lucien Olivier, it gained popularity in one of Moscow’s most popular and acclaimed restaurants, Hermitage. Since then, most Hispanic countries have adopted Ensaladilla Rusa, often called Olivier, making their own variations.

In Spain, Ensaladilla Rusa is either served as a tapa in bars or as a side dish for beef, chicken or pork. The tangy, sweet taste also pairs well with fish.

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My abuelita was often forced to double this recipe even though we were only four in the household as second helpings weren’t unusual with this dish! In our home, we typically had bread to go along with it to make sure none of the delicious juices went to waste as we cleared our plates.

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 45 minutes

3 medium potatoes, peeled.
1 large carrot, diced
5 TBSP shelled green peas
½ medium onion, finely chopped
1 pimiento de piquillo, chopped
4 small pickles, sliced
12 anchovy-stuffed olives, whole.
1 hard-cooked egg, sliced thin
2/3 cup mayonnaise
5 oz canned tuna in olive oil (drained)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Chopped fresh parsley, to garnish


  1. Place the potatoes and carrots in a saucepan filled with salted water.
  2. Bring to a boil and then cook until almost tender.
  3. Add the peas and cook an additional couple of minutes until peas are tender.
  4. Drain vegetables, discarding water.
  5. Allow vegetables to cool, then dice and transfer to a serving dish.
  6. Add the onion, pimiento de piquillo, pickles, and anchovy-stuffed olives.
  7. Add mayonnaise and mix thoroughly, salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Top with egg slices and fresh parsley as a garnish
  9. Allow to cool completely and refrigerate.
  10. Take out 30 minutes before ready to serve.