Spanish Potato Salad (Ensaladilla Rusa) is a classic creamy potato dish popular all over Spain. With a combination of cubed potatoes and boiled vegetables, canned tuna is the real star here. This is an easy and versatile addition to any tapas menu, and it works just as well as a simple side dish.
2poundswaxy potatoes (white or yellow/gold),peeled and diced into ½-to-¾-inch pieces
1medium-large carrot (about 4 ounces),peeled and diced into ¼-to-½-inch pieces
5ouncecan tuna (packed in oil or water),drained (4 ounces after draining)
24pitted Manzanilla olives,halved lengthwise
1tablespooncrushed or minced garlic
¾cup plus 2 tablespoonsmayonnaise(or more if desired)
1hard-boiled egg,grated on a box grater
Roasted red pepper strips
Pitted Manzanilla olives
Add potatoes and carrots to a pot and fill with water to cover by at least 2 inches. Season generously with kosher salt, and bring to a boil. The moment it comes to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the potatoes and carrots are just tender. Add the frozen peas and cook for another 2 minutes. Drain in a colander and run cold water over the cooked vegetables until they have cooled.
In a mixing bowl add the drained tuna and break it up a bit with a fork or spoon. Then add the olives, hard-boiled eggs, and garlic. Add the cooled potato-carrot-pea mixture, and the mayonnaise and give it a good stir. Season to taste with more salt, and add a bit more mayonnaise if you feel like it needs it (some people like more and some like less).
At this point you can cover and chill the potato salad for several hours until serving. Just give it a good stir before transferring to a serving bowl or plate.
Transfer the potato salad to a serving bowl or to a couple plates and garnish, if desired, with a grated hard-boiled egg, roasted red pepper strips, and/or additional pitted Manzanilla olives. Serve as a side dish or as part of a Spanish tapas menu.
You can easily omit the tuna if you are vegetarian, or simply dislike canned tuna.
Make sure to use waxy (less starchy) potatoes like Yukon golds, or other yellow or white potatoes. Floury/starchy potatoes like russets can fall apart during cooking.
You may be familiar with Manzanilla olives as cocktail olives. They are often sold stuffed with small pieces of red pimento peppers. You can also buy them pitted and jarred without the pimentos. That's what would be more common in this potato salad, but if you can only find the type stuffed with pimentos, feel free to use those. It will add a nice burst of color!