Papas aliñás or potato salad is a traditional tapa all over Andalucia, although it is in Cadiz where it is most popular. New potatoes, boiled to perfection and dressed with tender spring onion, fresh parsley and a very basic dressing of olive oil, sherry vinegar and sea salt. Simplicity at its best.
It comes as no surprise that every bar (or nearly) in Andalucía offers papas aliñás in their tapas menu. Glorious in the spring and summer seasons when the heat makes us crave cold meals, but also enjoyed in the autumn and winter months. It is the perfect accompaniment of a beer and bartenders know it well as they usually serve a small portion of it, free of charge, when ordering a drink.
The basic potato salad formula, which is the one we bring today, can be enriched with the addition of boiled eggs, canned tuna, olives and spices to suit everyone’s taste. Because of its simplicity it is important that all ingredients used are of great quality as the taste and texture of each one of them is noticeable when sampling papas aliñás.
- 700 g new potatoes, medium size
- 120 g spring onion, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
- 100 ml olive oil
- 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
- Sea salt
- Wash the potatoes in cold water and place them in a large pan.
- Cover with water, add a tablespoon of sea salt and boil for 20 minutes or until tender.
- In the meantime, peel and chop the spring onion and wash and chop the parsley leaves.
- Once tender, drain the potatoes and place them in a bowl with pleanty of icy water for 5 minutes.
- Remove from the water, peel and cut the potatoes in 1 cm pieces.
- Place the potatoes in a serving dish, add the chopped onion and parsley.
- Dress with olive oil, sherry vinegar and half a teaspoon of sea salt.
- Let the potato salad reach room temperature before serving or, if preferred, place in the fridge and serve cold.
Tips to get the most delicious papas aliñás:
- Papas aliñás are at their best if eaten fresh on the day they are prepared. There are disputes about whether they should be kept in the fridge before consumption and many support the idea that they should be cooked in the morning and left to cool at room temperature until lunch time, covered with cling film (never foil paper).
- Low temperature spoils the taste of potatoes so, if you have no choice and your potato salad needs to go in the fridge, make sure that you take it out at least one hour before serving to allow it to reach room temperature.
- New potatoes are recommended when making papas aliñás. Ensure they are equal in size so that they take the same amount of time to cook.
- Although we use spring onion, any other kind with smooth taste is perfectly valid. Just make sure that it is not overpowering in taste.
- The same principle applies to the type of olive oil used for the dressing. A smooth one is more appropiate that al extra virgin olive oil with a strong taste.
These papas aliñás or potato salad are great to serve as a tapa or starter of a bigger meal. Serve it with a cold beer and a good piece of bread to dip in the dressing and it will take you directly to heaven. You will not know when to stop!