Beet and Potato Salad (Ensalada Rusa)

Ensalada Rusa (Beet and Potato Salad)

Ensalada Rusa (Beet and Potato Salad)

Now that it’s officially summer — not just according to the calendar but also according to the weather– I am all about cold summer salads. Lately I had a craving for a Latin-American style potato salad my mom always used to make,  ironically, it’s called Ensalada Rusa (Russian Salad).

I don’t know the origin of the salad or its name, I found a few variations on the internet but it doesn’t really matter because no matter what the etymology, this salad is delicious. As usual, each country has its own variation, but for the most part they all contain one of my favourite summer foods – BEETS! Do you know what happens when you combine beets with potatoes? It turns purple! I’ll be the first to admit, it isn’t the most appealing look-wise but I promise, it’s worth a try. With beets and potatoes in abundance this time of year, it’s worth a try.

Here is the Salvadoran-style ensalada rusa just like my mom used to make it. It’s very much like your traditional potato salad. It varies with the addition of beets that makes it purple and instead of using the regular mayo and vinegar dressing, I make a mayo, lime juice and cumin dressing. Try it out for your next BBQ or picnic!


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Beet and Potato Salad (Ensalada Rusa)


  • 4 large potatoes, cooked and chopped
  • 2 medium sized beets, cooked and chopped
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 4 radishes, chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 cup of mayo
  • juice of 1/2 of lime
  • dash of salt
  • dash of cumin
  • chopped green onion
  • chopped fresh parsley or dill for garnish


  1. In a large bowl, place the cooked and chopped potatoes, beets, hard boiled eggs, onion and radishes. Mix.
  2. In a small bowl, place the mayo, lime juice and a dash of cumin. Stir until well mixed.
  3. Pour mayo mixture over potato and beet mixture. Mix until beets have coloured the potatoes purple. Add salt.
  4. Chill in refrigerator for two hours before serving.
  5. Garnish with green onion and fresh herbs.

Beet and Potato Salad