When you think of Spain, you probably think of their famous meat and fish dishes, but believe us, there is more than that. In Spain and the Iberian Peninsula there are many crops and areas where all kind of veggies grow, and that´s why they have so many Spanish salad recipes. Today we are going to tell you about the salads from Spain; the best types, what are their typical dressings and much more…
Which is the typical Spanish salad dressing?
Before we tell you all about the best salads in Spain, let us talk a little bit about the Spanish dressing style. In most of the countries they have different sauce packets for their salads, it could be a ranch sauce, a pink sauce or maybe just mayonnaise, and the truth is that although they all taste very good, they make the salad be a little bit less healthy.
The Spanish dressings for salads are very different, although they have many kinds of salad, there are a few ingredients that are a must on each of them. For example, it´s not considered a salad from Spain if it doesn´t have extra virgin olive oil and salt on it. Other ingredient they use a lot on their recipes is the vinegar.
The use of these dressings instead of the typical sauces is one of the biggest reasons why everyone says that Mediterranean diet is so healthy.
Popular salads in Spain
There are a few kinds of salads that have become international and now are popular all over the world, but don´t worry if you don´t know any of them, because today we will show the best “Ensaladas Españolas” so you can make them at home:
1) Spanish mixed green salad
Of course, we had to start with a very simple Spanish salad, the mixed green salad or how Spanish people always call it, “Ensalada mixta”. Believe us when we say that you can literally find this type of salad in every single restaurant of Spain. Maybe they make it in different ways, but they always have it on their menus.
“Ensalada mixta” is the king of salads in Spain, but it can be cooked in many different ways. Always keep in mind that this salad needs to include lettuce, tomato, extra virgin olive oil and salt. Starting from that point, later you can also add ingredients as boiled eggs, white asparagus, carrot, corn, raw onions, vinegar or anchovies…but that´s all up to your taste.
It´s a very easy Spanish salad and normally people make it when they are eating a heavy dish as a main course. Locals of Spain love to have “Ensalada Mixta” as an aperitif while they are waiting for a paella on a restaurant”
2) Ensaladilla Rusa
The second salad of our list is actually not from Spain. As its name says “Ensaladilla Rusa” (Translated as Russian salad), has its origins in Rusia and being more concrete in Moscow…But nowadays is very typical all over Spain.
The “Ensaladilla Rusa” is a completely different salad to the ones that are originally from Spain. It´s main dressing is the mayonnaise and not the olive oil, and other than that, to make it you will be using ingredients as potatoes, carrots, tuna, eggs and peppers.
Although you can eat this salad whenever you want to, there are two occasions where it´s more common. On one side, it´s frequently eaten as a Spanish tapas salad, which means that bars ofently serve a small dish of it as an accompaniment when you order a drink. On the other side, Russian salad is a traditional Spanish salad of New year´s celebration, you will see it in every family house.
3) Macedonia salad
A typical Spanish salad during the summer months is the “Macedonia salad”, which is basically a salad made of fruits. We are sure this recipe is also common in other countries, so tell us, how is it done in yours?
In Spain this recipe basically consists of mixing pieces of around 5/6 different fruits and adding either honey, a little bit of sugar or just lemon or orange juice. Serve it cold and you will see how good it tastes.
The ingredients for this Spanish salad are normally a mix of fresh fruits like kiwi, piña or peaches with other common fruits like banana, apple, orange or maybe strawberry…again, this recipe changes depending on the time of the year, and it can be done in a million ways.
4) Pipirrana salad
There is one kind that it´s considered by most of the Spaniards as the “Best Spanish salad” and that´s the Pipirrana salad. It has it´s origins in the community of Andalusia, but nowadays you can find it in almost every single province of Spain…The only problem is that each of them cooks it in a different way.
The “authentic” recipe contains fresh vegetables like cucumbers, onions, tomatoes and green peppers. It´s also dressed with olive oil, vinegar, salt and the key ingredient, which are slices of bread (soaked in the salad). Later, people started to use olives and tuna to increase its flavors. As Andalusian people say, this recipe is a mix of a salad and a salmorejo.
If you know Spanish, you may have realized that the name of this Spanish salad is actually very funny. You can literally translate it as “Frog´s piss” and being honest we have no clue why it is known that way.
5) Asadillo Manchego
To finish our list of “Spanish salad dishes”, we needed to mention the famous salad from Castilla La Mancha, which is known as “Asadillo Manchego” or in English “Roasted peppers salad”.
Making this salad is much easier than what it seems, you will only need olive oil, cumin, onions, garlic, tomatoes and of course the key ingredient roasted peppers. Some people also use eggs and tuna. Now, we advise you that you will need to turn on your oven.
Last of all, this Spanish style salad taste much better if you accompany it with slices of rustic bread.
Spanish salads are also served as tapas
It´s important to know how to eat salad in Spain. Generally, Spanish people would eat salad as a first dish and then maybe some fish or meat as the second plate. Rarely, you can sometimes find people who eat salad as a main dish, but they probably end up starving after that.
What you can find many times is people eating salad as a tapa. It doesn´t happen always, but many people would ask for a salad in a restaurant as a tapa to share with family or friends and they would start eating their lunch after that. Paella and seafood dishes are almost always accompanied by a salad.
Spanish Salads are very common during summer
In Spain is very common to eat salad during the summer months. The reason is because there are many types of vegetables and many of these keep us fresh during the hot months of the year. As you can imagine most of these summer salads always include fruits on their recipes as it’s what gives them a fresh style.
Some typical summer Spanish salads are the Macedonia fruit salad, which is a mixture of different fruits; The ensaladilla Rusa (Russian salad), which is like a potato salad with a lot of mayonnaise; And last of all, the seafood salad, generally with anchovy.
Do you have any other Spanish salad ideas?
That´s all you need to know about the salads of Spain, hope you have learned a lot about the recipes for Spanish salads and all its types. We would also like to know if you have heard of any other kinds of Spanish salad! Of course, if you have any other question, let us know!!