The Globetrotter Cookbook

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Introducing the VEGAN TAPA series! : Ensaladilla Rusa

I feel like sometimes I complain too much about Spain’s food because of its inflexibility on the vegetarian scene. It’s not really fair for me to judge, I’ve come to live here out of my own free will, and it’s up to me to adapt my lifestyle while living here, not the other way around. That’s why I’ve decided to introduce a new series to the blog – THE VEGAN TAPA SERIES!

Turns out they do exist – although they can be hard to track down, especially in the Cadiz region where Serrano ham is basically considered a vegetable among most locals. For the next few weeks, you can expect to be introduced to several typical Spanish tapas – some naturally vegan, others adapted by yours truly for all to enjoy.

Tapas on the Terraza.

Tapas on the Terraza.

Starting off this week we have a timeless tapa that you can find in most bars all around Spain: la Ensaladilla Rusa. Yes, I know, its name translates to “Russian Salad”, but Spaniards have adopted it into their national cuisine. La Ensaladilla Rusa was actually invented by a Belgian chef working in Moscow, and the original recipe included many ingredients unsavoury to the vegetarian palate such as veal tongue and crayfish tails. The Spanish version is at best vegetarian since it includes mayonnaise smothered potatoes, carrots, roasted pepper and capers. Many bars will also throw in some tuna or langoustines for good measure.

close-up-ensaladilla-rusa-tapa

First off, here is the vegan mayonnaise you NEED in your kitchen. Guys, I’m not kidding, it’s life changing. It’s not only incredibly cheap and simple to make, but it lasts a month in the fridge and tastes better than any name brand mayo out there. You can let your imagination go wild with it – this mayo is delicious not only as a sandwich spread but also as a base for ranch dressing, alioli or other creamy dips.

Print Recipe
Super QUICK and CHEAP Vegan Mayonnaise
This vegan staple is ready in less than a minute! Great on sandwiches, as a base for creamy salad dressings or dipping sauce. It tastes better than the store bought stuff, and you probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry anyway!
Cook Time 1 minute
Servings
500g jar
Ingredients
Cook Time 1 minute
Servings
500g jar
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Throw all of the ingredients into a blender except for the oil. Blend on high speed and gradually add the oil until it thickens to the texture of mayonnaise. Transfer to a jar and keep it up to 3 weeks in the fridge.
Recipe Notes

Don't use olive oil for this recipe - I know it's healthier, but the flavour is much too overpowering.

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ensaladilla-ingredients

To make a traditional Ensaladilla, I’ve used all of the classic ingredients. However, The best part about this recipe is that it’s super adaptable! Try adding corn, pickles, beets, onion or any of your other favourite veg! For a sweet surprise, add some apple! Yum!

Print Recipe
VEGAN Ensaladilla Rusa
The classic tapa enjoyed all over the world. Here is a veganized version of the Spanish take on the "Russian Salad".
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
people (as a tapa)
Ingredients
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
people (as a tapa)
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Peel the carrots, place in a pot with cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover, cooking for 5-10 minutes. You want your carrots to be tender, but firm. Drain and run under cold water until manageable. Cut into cubes and mix them in a bowl with your peas. Splash some apple cider vinegar over the vegetables and set aside.
  2. Place potatoes in a pot of cold water and a tsp of salt and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until they can be pierced with a fork, but not too long otherwise they will break apart (15-20 minutes depending on the size). I suggest choosing potatoes that are the same size otherwise they won't cook evenly. Drain and run under cold water until manageable. Remove the skins and cut into small cubes.
  3. Thinly slice your red pepper into short strips.
  4. Combine all of the vegetables in a medium-sized bowl along with your capers. Fold in the mayonnaise. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Store in the fridge until cold or overnight before eating. Serve with breadsticks, and enjoy as a tapa or side dish.
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What are some other Spanish tapas you’d like featured or veganized as part of the series?

1 Comment

  1. Mmm that mayo recipe looks incredible. I’ll be trying it this week :)!

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