Peru gave potatoes to the world and this Peruvian Potato Salad is one of the most famous potato appetizers from the Peruvian highlands. The local herb, palillo, in this dish reflects Indian origins and lends a bright yellow color similar to turmeric. Yukon gold potatoes are comparable to the yellow Peruvian papa amarilla, and any hot pepper, like serranos or jalapeños may be substituted for the ají paste.
- 3 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes (about 10 medium), boiled, cooled and refrigerated; cut into quarters lengthwise
- 3 hard-cooked eggs, peeled, divided
- 8 ozs. queso fresco, feta* or muenster-style cheese, crumbled
- 2/3 cup (5 fl. oz. can) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
- 2 soda crackers or saltine crackers
- 1 to 2 tablespoons ají amarillo (Peruvian hot yellow pepper) paste or 3-inch yellow or other hot pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon palillo or turmeric
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt to taste
- 1 head Boston red leaf or Bibb lettuce, washed; leaves separated
- 8 to 10 Peruvian black olives or kalamata olives, pitted, sliced in half
- 1 tomato, cut in wedges
- Peruvian Onion Salsa (see recipe below)
- Fresh ground black pepper to taste
PLACE queso fresco and evaporated milk in blender container; process until well blended. Add 1 hard cooked egg (sliced), crackers, ají paste, garlic, palillo, lemon juice and oil; blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt, if desired. Place in bowl. Cover; refrigerate for 2 hours until chilled. Sauce will thicken while cooling.
FOLD chilled potatoes and sauce together with a rubber spatula.
TO SERVE, line large serving platter with lettuce leaves. Arrange potatoes with sauce in center. Sprinkle top with freshly ground black pepper. Place Peruvian Onion Salsa around border of plate surrounding potatoes. Garnish with olives, remaining hard cooked eggs (quartered lengthwise) and tomato wedges.
PERUVIAN ONION SALSA
COMBINE 1 medium red or yellow onion (halved and thinly sliced into half-moons, rinsed in cold water and drained), 1 to 2 hot yellow Peruvian peppers or jalapeños (seeded and minced), 1 finely chopped garlic clove, 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro or parsley leaves, juice of 1 lemon, 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and freshly ground black pepper in small bowl. Cover; refrigerate for up to one day.
*If queso fresco is hard to find, substitute 6 ounces feta cheese and 2 ounces of cream cream cheese, mixed until combined.
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Peruvian Potato Salad
The Peruvian Potato Salad was a colorful addition to a late summer afternoon picnic. The recipe was enjoyed by youth and elders in our family and will be used again for small group meals.
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