Pipirrana is our favourite Spanish summer salad to make at home.
This quick & easy Andalusian salad recipe features healthy Mediterranean flavours and fresh summer vegetables like tomatoes, cucumber, onion, bell peppers, capers, parsley, olives, hard boiled eggs and canned tuna.
We love to serve this homemade salad with a chilled glass of white wine and slices of fresh sourdough bread. A sublime salad to serve on a hot summer day!
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What Is Pipirrana?
Pipirrana is a simple, fresh, summer salad traditionally served at restaurants in Andalusia, southern Spain.
Many regions in Spain have their own unique variations but typically the 4 main ingredients in Pipirrana salad include tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and bell peppers.
Sometimes boiled eggs, fish or even sausages are added to give the dish additional protein, making it a perfect healthy and nutritious salad to enjoy for lunch or dinner in the hot summer months.
The versatile recipe can be adjusted based on your preferences. Here is how local chefs tweak the salad recipe based on regional preferences:
- Malaga: served with octopus.
- Jaén: served with peeled tomatoes and tuna with sliced bread, which is used to sop up the salads juices.
- Cádiz: served with local mackerel roasted on a grill.
- Murcia: served with lettuce or escarole black olives, dried cod or sardines.
- Cuenca: uniquely prepared as a stew rather than a soup with chicken, sausage, hot peppers and mushrooms.
- Extremadura: often served with legumes like chickpeas or beans.
Travel to Spain by Making Pipirrana Salad at Home
I love traveling to Europe!
During my first visit to the continent I traveled for 5 months by train and plane. I had the opportunity to eat my way through Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Croatia, Bosnia, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Greece, Turkey, France, Malta and Italy.
As a professional food and travel journalist, I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy amazing meals in Europe, from traditional markets to award winning restaurants.
What I love most about traveling to Spain is the opportunity to sample unique dishes in each region and city. The Spanish dishes in Madrid and Barcelona are unique to what you might find on restaurant menus in Salamanca, Toledo, Valencia, Mallorca, Ibiza, Seville, Cordoba, Granada and Malaga.
Once back home from a Mediterranean holiday you’ll have a newfound appreciation for the flavours of southern Spain and can impress friends and family by making our easy Pipirrana Salad recipe!
You May Also Enjoy These Spanish Recipes…
- Spiced Cream Sherry Flip Cocktail
- Ensalada de Gambas Spanish Grapefruit Fennel Shrimp Salad
- Flaó Ibizan Cheese Mint Tart
- Berenjenas con Miel Spanish Fried Eggplant
- Smoky Albondigas Tapas Spanish Meatballs
- Sopa de Ajo Easy Spanish Garlic Soup
Where To Eat Pipirrana Salad
Haven’t traveled to Spain before? It may be helpful to first sample an authentic Spanish Summer Salad at a local restaurant to better understand how it is served. You’ll get an understanding for the ideal size to chop the vegetables, type of seafood to serve with the salad and other Spanish dishes to serve at the table.
My Family Loves Homemade Pipirrana
Spain was one of the first countries I visited when backpacking through Europe in my third year of university.
I flew into Barcelona and traveled on a shoestring to Madrid, Salamanca and Toledo. It wasn’t until years later as a food and travel journalist that I had the opportunity to revisit Spain and experience it’s celebrated fine dining culture.
It was on a trip to Andalusia on the southern coast of Spain when I first enjoyed a taste of Pipirrana, which looked like a piece of art in a bowl.
My family loved the medley of fresh and crunchy vegetables, salty olives and capers and chunks of buttery canned tuna. All of the flavours and textures marry so well together.
We enjoyed the salad as an entree with a glass of cold white wine alongside a few slices of sourdough bread. Always serve sliced bread at the table so your guests can sop up the delicious juices at the bottom of their bowl. A sublime summer salad for those looking to enjoy a sensory escape to Spain!
Pipirrana Recipe Cooking Tips
If it’s your first time preparing a Spanish Summer Salad at home here are some helpful tips.
- We’ve used large beefsteak tomatoes in this recipe but you can substitute with plum, grape or cherry tomatoes.
- Pipirrana is often prepared with green peppers but we prefer the sweetness of red bell peppers. Feel free to use whatever style of pepper you prefer.
- We’ve used red onions in this recipe as they add a pop of purple on the plate but you could substitute for sweet Vidalia onion or shallots if you prefer.
- Be sure to scoop out the seeds of the cucumber so the salad does not get too watery.
- We’ve used apple cider vinegar in this recipe to add additional sweetness but you can use white wine or red wine vinegar instead.
- We’ve used Scout Oil Packed Canned Tuna in this recipe because it is a great sustainable seafood option. Find inspiration in other regional recipes for Pipirrana by topping the salad with grilled octopus, mackerel or sardines.
- We’ve used green Spanish olives as a garnish for this salad but you can use black olives if you prefer.
Our simple Pipirrana Salad recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!
Rich in a group of phytochemicals called carotenoids, tomatoes may help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, and provide protection against cancer. Tomatoes are also a good source of immune-boosting vitamin C.
Cucumbers are low in calories and high in water content so are great at hydrating the body. To maximize their nutrient content, cucumbers should be eaten unpeeled. Peeling them reduces the amount of fibre, as well as certain vitamins and minerals.
Onions are a humble vegetable packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Regular consumption of onions can help boost digestive health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
Bell Peppers are an incredible source of vitamins C and A, which support your skin and immune system. They also provide beneficial carotenoid compounds such as beta-carotene, which has been shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers.
Seafood is a high-protein food that is low in calories, total fat, and saturated fat. High in vitamins and minerals, seafood has been shown to have numerous health benefits including decreasing the risk of heart attack, stroke, obesity, and hypertension.
Olive Oil is ranked as one of the healthiest fats and is a staple in the Mediterranean diet. It contains vitamins E and K and plenty of beneficial fatty acids and antioxidants.
An excellent source of vitamin K, as well as vitamin C, folate, and iron, parsley helps keep your bones and blood healthy, and protects your skin from damage by free radicals.
Eggs contain two vital nutrients that are not present in many foods: iodine and vitamin D. Eggs are also rich in tissue-building protein and vitamin B12, which helps your body manufacture blood cells.
What To Serve With Spanish Tuna Salad
We love serving this nutritious Pipirrana recipe as a fresh summer salad.
The dish can be enjoyed as a side salad or main course with a few slices of bread, to help sop up the delicious juices at the bottom of your bowl, and a glass of chilled white wine.
If you’re hosting a Spanish or Mediterranean themed dinner party you might also like to make:
- Baked Mediterranean Chicken Thighs
- Bolo de Caco Madeira Sweet Potato Portuguese Rolls
- Portuguese Bean Soup
- Roasted Garlic Gruyere French Tomato Tart
- Garides Saganaki
- Oven Baked Halloumi
- Melitzanosalata Greek Eggplant Dip
- Arugula Fig Burrata and Prosciutto Salad
- Traditional Tagliatelle alla Bolognese Pasta
- Ndunderi Amalfi Lemon Ricotta Gnocchi
- Sartu Di Riso Italian Baked Risotto
Other Salad Recipes You Might Enjoy…
- Asinan Sayur Indonesian Coleslaw Cabbage Salad
- Balila Healthy Vegan Lebanese Chickpea Salad
- Pancar Salatasi Turkish Beet Yogurt Salad
- Jajik Middle Eastern Cucumber Yogurt Mint Salad
- Indian Fruit Chaat Masala Salad
- Erdapfelsalat Viennese Warm Austrian Potato Salad
- Chicken Yuk Sung Chinese Lettuce Wraps
- Arugula Fig Burrata and Prosciutto Salad
- Mango Pico de Gallo Salsa
- Vegetarian Indian Paneer Tikka Salad
- Mexican Vegan Cucumber Radish Salad with Chipotle Peanuts
- Warm Indian Vegan Sprouted Mung Bean Salad
- Sangchu Geotjeori Sweet and Sour Korean Lettuce Salad
- Yum Woon Sen Thai Glass Noodle Salad
- Lebanese Cabbage Malfouf Salad
- Toasted Pecan Parmesan Pear and Rocket Salad
How To Make Traditional Pipirrana Salad
Pipirrana Spanish Tuna Salad
- Mixing bowls
- French knife
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- 1 lb Ripe Tomatoes cut into 1-inch chunks
- 0.5 English Cucumber halved lengthwise, seeded, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
- Kosher Salt & Pepper
- 0.5 Small Red Onion thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 tbsp Dry Sherry
- 0.5 Medium Red Bell Pepper 1-inch pieces
- 2 tbsp Drained Capers
- 5 oz Olive Oil Packed Tuna drained and flaked into small pieces
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp Parsley finely chopped
- 2 Hard Boiled Eggs peeled and quartered
- 1/4 cup Spanish Olives sliced
- In a large bowl, toss together the tomatoes, cucumber and 1 tsp salt. In a medium bowl, stir together the onion, vinegar, sherry and 1/4 tsp salt. Let both stand for 10 minutes.
- Using tongs, lift the onion slices from the vinegar, allowing the excess to drain back into the bowl, and add them to the tomato-cucumber mixture; reserve the vinegar. Add the bell pepper, capers and tuna to the vegetables, and gently toss.
- To the vinegar, whisk in the oil, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Stir in the parsley. Pour the dressing over the salad and gently toss. Transfer to a serving dish and top with egg wedges and sliced olives.
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