Food

Ensaladilla Rusa (Spanish Potato Salad)

web.Ensal Rusa

Looking for a fresh way to avoid the mid-week mealtime SLUMP?  Try infusing a simple meal with garden fresh herbs.  Whether you grow your own or buy them from local farms, cooking with fresh herbs is a wonderful way to get great flavor without adding unwanted fat or sodium. Family Fun Tip: Cooking with fresh aromatic herbs is a great way to get kids involved in the cooking process—which increases the chances they will eat the finished product without fussing over unwanted vegetables. Over the years what we’ve enjoyed most is exploring the world through different flavor and herb combinations. Inspired by flavors of the Mediterranean—try this simple & easy recipe using fresh dill to impart a light, bright spring-like flavor to your menu.

It is the perfect time of year to start your own herb garden—whether in a proper Potager (kitchen garden) or in a series of pots on a sunny patio. In my neck of the woods, farmers markets and plant nurseries now have fresh herb plants for sale. Anything tender that didn’t winter over in my garden can be easily replaced until herbs sown by seed are ready to harvest.

This week I noticed several dill plants coming up volunteer in the footpaths of my Potager garden (of course they needed to come out and eaten right away). Hmmm, what to do? We had plenty of sunshine, good friends, great music and local beer on the calendar with absolutely no desire for a big fuss and muss menu. How about tapas! Small plates, big flavors. My husband helped write the recipe inspired by one of his favorite dishes from when he lived in Spain. Tapas are built on passion and instinct, two things I can immediately relate to.

Sweet spring peas and my own garden fresh dill perfectly complimented smoky piquillo peppers that my husband had in the pantry. We also used Greek yogurt and extra virgin olive oil (to cut the heavy mayonnaise feel). Here’s the recipe!

Ensaladilla Rusa

INGREDIENTS

3 lbs red potatoes, peeled, boiled and diced
1 lb organic baby carrots, boiled and diced
8 oz baby spring peas, blanched
5 oz Piquillo peppers, drained and roughly chopped (1/2 jar)
1 celery stalks, finely diced
1 cup diced green onion, appox 3 stalks with green & white parts
Lime juice from 1 lime
1 small garlic clove, crushed
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
3  Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, more or less for desired texture and flavor
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
Salt & pepper to taste
Paprika, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Prepare the potatoes and carrots. I love using Ina Garten’s method, they come out perfectly cooked every time! Here’s how she does it: Place the potatoes (and carrots) and 2 tablespoons of salt in a large pot of water. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes are barely tender when pierced with a knife. Drain the potatoes and carrots in a colander, then place the colander with the mixture over the empty pot and cover with a clean, dry kitchen towel. Allow the potatoes and carrots to steam for 15 to 20 minutes. 
  • Blanch the green peas for 3 minutes in boiling salted water, shock in an ice water bath to stop cooking.
  • In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together. Chill until ready to serve.
  • Dash with paprika. Serve & enjoy!

**We served this dish with lamb sliders made with local ingredients. Small enough to be finger food but hearty enough for a meal.**