Thursday, August 2, 2012

Contemporary (Roasted) Ensalada Rusa (Potato Salad) with Tangy Avocado Dressing

Usually green potato salad isn't considered a good thing. But, when you combine Rick Bayless' Tangy Avocado Dressing with a combination of roasted baby potatoes, poblano chile, green peas and chunks of avocado green ends up being a very good thing. 

The dressing and its suggested use in an Ensalada Rusa (which actually translates to Russian Salad), comes from Mexican Everyday. I swapped out soft tofu for the mayo in this creamy dressing, roasted my potatoes rather than blanching them for the salad and changed up the ingredients to make it nice and green--out theme for this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs

Rick says, "This creamy dressing is good tossed with a crunchy green like romaine. It's luxurious drizzled over--or used as a dip for raw vegetables."

Tangy Avocado Dressing (Aderezo de Aguacate)
Adapted from Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless
(Makes 1 1/2 Cups)

1/2 cup vegetable oil, olive oil or a mixture
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice (I used 4 Tbsp)
1 clove garlic, peeled and halved
1/2 cup mayonnaise (I used soft tofu)
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce (I used Bragg's Aminos)
1/2 ripe avocado, pitted and flesh scooped from skin
1/2 cup (loosely packed) roughly chopped cilantro

Combine oil, lime juice, garlic, mayonnaise, Worcestershire, avocado, cilantro, and salt in a blender jar or food processor, along with 2-3 tablespoons cold water. Process until smooth. Taste and season with more salt if needed. Pour into a jar, secure the lid and refrigerate until ready to use. Shake well immediately before use--which should be within a day or two.

Rick's Contemporary Ensalada Rusa: "To bring this world classic mayonnaise-dressed vegetable salad into the twenty-first century, cube blanch and cool potatoes and carrots, then toss with the dressing, diced avocado and queso anejo. I still like to include the classic addition of peas; defrosted frozen peas are the easiest."   

(My Version of Ensalada Rusa: I chopped baby Yukon Gold potatoes tossed them in olive oil and roasted them cut side down on a sheet pan, along with a poblano pepper for 25 minutes at 425 degrees. I then turned them over and roasted another 10 minutes. I removed them from the oven to cool, putting poblano into a paper bag to "sweat." Once cooled, I peeled and chopped the poblano into small pieces and tossed it with the potatoes, defrosted frozen peas, chopped avocado, thinly sliced green onions, chopped cilantro leaves, and the Tangy Avocado dressing. I garnished it with a bit more green onion, chopped cilantro and toasted pepitas.)

Notes/Results: Creamy and good. I like the texture and taste roasting the potatoes gave the salad and adding the roasted poblano gave it a nice touch of spice. The dressing is smooth and creamy and would be great drizzled over any type of vegetable or even a piece of fish. I used some extra lime juice in the dressing to give it more of a tangy pop. I think some chile in the dressing would be nice too. I would make both the dressing and the salad again. 

In addition to linking to I Heart Cooking Clubs, this potato salad is headed for Summer Salad Sundays hosted by Debbie at Easy Natural Foods.


  1. Couscous & ConsciousnessAugust 2, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    Awesome.  That dressing sounds divine, and I totally love your updated take on a Russian Salad.  Especially like the roasted potatoes.

  2. Delicious potato salad! I like it that you've roasted the potatoes instead of blanching them! And the addition of pepita must have added the delightful crunch! Yum!

  3. That dressing does look incredibly creamy and luscious!  In this case, green potato salad is definitely a good thing.

  4. I'm so in love with all the green in this salad! It's going to be my new favorite potato salad for sure.
    Joanne @ eats well with others

  5. Roasted potato salad is my favorite kind of potato salad.  This take on potato salad looks like a winner.  SO much more interesting than the usual mayo kind.

  6. Oh my gosh - that looks fantastic. I love the creaminess and the green. I could make a meal of this, for sure.

  7. Looks great! I like the bright colors. And I like your substitutions. We have insalata russa in Italy too. I used to like it as a kid, mostly because it looked and tasted exotic, i.e., very different from our usual food.

  8.  Wonderfully green potato salad! I love the chunks of avocado in it, and the extra lime juice!

  9. Debbie @easynaturalfood.comAugust 9, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    This looks so delicious, and the tangy avocado dressing is to die for! Love it! Thanks for sharing this with Summer Salad Sundays, look forward to seeing you again soon!


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