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"Significantly, the charge (if it is a charge) has been levelled at the gastronomic essay and the 'learned' cookery book that they have an affinity with pornography. Certainly, both gastronomy and pornography dwell on pleasures of the flesh, and in gastronomic literature as in pornography there is vicarious enjoyment to be had." 

Stephen Mennell

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« Tapas no.5: Two tortillas | Main | Tapas no.3: Pinchos from Movida Rustica »
Friday
Jun102011

Tapas no.4: Ensalada Campera from Movida Rustica

 

Next up is a dish that may seem a bit simple to some, but it is one of my favourite things to order on a hot day in Spain. When talking potato salad in the UK or Oz most people think mayonnaise. Of course mayonnaise has its place – indeed in Spain Ensalada Rusa, a potato salad which has more mayonnaise than it does potato, is very popular. But in the height of summer it is this light and fresh salad of potatoes dressed in vinegar and olive oil that wins my heart and apparently Camorra’s too,

“Mum would always have a potato salad in the fridge over summer: roughly cut potatoes, ripe tomatoes, onions, olives and a little egg. A little plate of this makes a great lunch on a hot day.”

When I make this recipe I tend to have a higher ratio of potato than Camorra; I add less tuna, egg, tomato, pepper and olives. In fact, if I am doing it as a side salad I don’t add tuna or egg at all. Sometimes I don’t even add tomato, pepper or olives – the whole vinegar, olive oil, parsley and potato combination is damn good as is and it is often served that way in Andalucia. Just use the recipe as a guide and chuck in whatever you think is right.

The only other tip is that it is that it is much easier to peel the potatoes before cooking (you can use any waxy ones, not just kipflers). I realise that the recipe calls for them to be cooked in their skin because it is supposed to impart more flavour, but most of that is lost when you pick off the top layer of the flesh while attempting to peel them after cooking. In addition, I think getting the vinegar and olive oil onto the potatoes while they are hot is key and obviously you can't peel the potatoes with your fingers while they are hot. 

The recipe from Movida Rustica makes a large portion – 12 tapas or 6 media raciones. A tapa is equivalent to a canapé, a media racion is roughly translated as entrée size. If you are making this dish as part of a tapas selection or as a side salad for 4-6 people, I would recommend halving it. 

Ingredients

750g (1 lb  10 oz) kipfler (fingerling) potatoes, washed but not peeled
6 eggs
6 ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded, roughly chopped
3 green capsicums (peppers), seeded and membranes removed, cut into 1 cm (½  inch) squares
1 red onion, chopped into large dice
200g (7 oz) green olives
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
150ml (5 fl oz) fruity extra virgin olive oil
100ml (3½ fl oz) aged sherry vinegar
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
200g (7 oz) tin Spanish tuna, drained

Method

Place the potatoes in a saucepan, cover with cold water and add a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes, or until tender.

Meanwhile, place the whole eggs in a saucepan, cover with plenty of cold water and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 4 minutes. Drain, refresh in cold water and peel.

Place the tomato, capsicum, onion, olives, parsley, olive oil, vinegar and sea salt in a bowl. Mix well and set aside.

Drain the potatoes, and when cool enough to handle, peel and slice into 1cm (½ inch) rounds. Add the potatoes and tuna to the salad and gently mix through with your fingers, then place on a serving plate. Cut the eggs into quarters, arrange them over the salad and serve immediately. 

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Reader Comments (1)

I love this salad! I agree the potato and olive oil combo without all the extra stuff its soooo good...simple, yet effective!

June 13, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercharlie Brown

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