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How to Make Papas Aliñas: A Refreshing Summer Delight from Spain
Friday, September 8, 2023 @ 7:28 PM

Papas Aliñas, which is effectively 'Spanish Potato Salad', is a delightful dish originating from the southern region of Spain, Andalusia. Considered a classic Spanish tapas, this easy-to-prepare ensemble boasts Mediterranean flavours that are hard to resist. Notably, Papas Aliñas is a typical summertime dish in Spain, loved for its light, refreshing taste that complements the warm weather, especially during al fresco dining and tapas nights on the terrace.

This delicious traditional vegetarian Spanish starter has various versions to suit different tastes and is a hallmark of Andalusian cuisine. Besides the classic version, which we will be preparing in this recipe, you can also find variations with additional ingredients like tuna, egg, olives, shrimp, or raw bell pepper. Let's see how to make it:



  • 1 kg of potatoes

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped

  • 4 ripe tomatoes, finely chopped

  • 1 bunch of parsley, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

  • Salt to taste

  • Pepper to taste

  • 100ml of extra virgin olive oil

  • 50ml of white wine vinegar

Steps to Follow

  1. Prepare the potatoes: Wash and peel the potatoes. Place them in a large pot of cold, salted water and bring it to a boil. Cook them until they are tender but not falling apart (approximately 20 - 25 minutes after the water starts boiling). Once cooked, drain and let them cool.

  2. Prepare the salad: As the potatoes cool, use this interval to finely chop the onion, green bell pepper, tomatoes, parsley, and garlic.

  3. Mix the ingredients: Cut the cooled potatoes into bite-sized pieces and place them in a large bowl. Add the chopped onion, green bell pepper, tomatoes, parsley, and garlic to the bowl. Mix carefully to prevent the potatoes from breaking.

  4. Prepare the dressing: In a separate bowl, combine the extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt, and pepper to make the dressing. For the perfect vinaigrette, follow the 2:1 ratio of oil to vinegar, but feel free to adjust this to your liking.

  5. Mix and let sit: Drizzle the dressing over the salad and mix gently, ensuring the potatoes remain intact. Once mixed thoroughly, allow the potatoes to rest and cool at room temperature for a couple of hours. This resting period allows the flavours to blend seamlessly, enhancing the overall taste of the dish.



Tips for Perfecting Your Papas Aliñas

Choose the right potatoes: Opting for the right kind of potatoes is essential. Fresh, new potatoes are the best option, but if those aren't available, any good-quality boiling potatoes will suffice.

Cooling is crucial: Make sure to thoroughly cool the potatoes before adding the other ingredients. Warm potatoes are likely to disintegrate when mixed, which can change the desired texture of your salad.

Use tender onions and quality oil: For a pleasant, well-rounded flavour, use tender onions, which have a milder taste, and a delicate extra virgin olive oil that doesn't overpower the other ingredients - an arbequina variety is ideal.

Add the dressing while the potatoes are warm: A secret to creating the perfect Papas Aliñas is adding the vinaigrette while the potatoes are still warm. This method softens the onion and helps the potatoes absorb the dressing more effectively, resulting in a harmoniously blended flavour.

Experiment with flavours: While this recipe adheres to the traditional Papas Aliñas recipe, don't hesitate to add your own twist to it! Consider adding a dash of sherry vinegar, and boiled eggs, or including some canned tuna for a protein-rich variation.

This delightful Spanish Potato Salad, Papas Aliñas, is more than a mere dish; it's a celebration of summer in every bite. 


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