Ensalada Valenciana is a simple salad of potatoes and oranges dressed with a red wine vinaigrette. This light salad has several layers of sweetness — subtle red potatoes, fresh and fruity oranges, and roasted savory pimientos.
What is a pimiento? It’s a generic Spanish word for peppers, but in this recipe, pimientos refer to roasted, skinned, and seeded sweet peppers. Pimientos are available canned or jarred but can be easily made at home.
For homemade pimientos, roast whole sweet peppers (such as your standard red bell) at 375ºF / 190ºC for about 30 minutes, turning halfway through roasting. The skins will blister and blacken. Peel the roasted peppers and remove the seeds. Refrigerated in an airtight container, pimientos will keep for several days.
Potato and Orange Salad
makes 4 servings
3 medium red waxy potatoes, about 1 to 1 1/2 pounds
1/2 red onion
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Place the potatoes in a pot and fill with water to cover. Add a few pinches of salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and continue cooking until the potatoes are tender and easily pierced with a fork. Simmering may take anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes depending on the size. Let the potatoes cool completely, peel, and slice into 1-inch chunks.
- Slice the red onion into thin slivers.
- Peel the orange, slice into 1/4-inch cartwheels, and quarter.
- Slice the pimiento into strips.
- In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, onions, orange slices, and pimientos. Mix together the oil and vinegar briefly, pour over the salad, and fold gently with a rubber spatula.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until well chilled.
- Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.