I worked together with the California Raisin Marketing Board to create this recipe and was compensated for my time. The opinions below are mine and mine alone and do not represent those of the California Raisin Marketing Board.
Do you have a New Years Eve tradition? In Peru we have many. Some of them include running around the block at midnight, with a bag in your hand (to ensure lots of traveling during the new year); making a big doll out of old clothes and burning it (to get rid of the old and make space for the new); wearing yellow underwear or making a flower bath (for prosperity); eating twelve grapes at midnight, and making a wish with every grape you eat.
We say good bye to the year focusing more on the rituals and the booze, than on the food, and for this reason many people simply repeat the Christmas dinner all over again, or make a variation of it using leftovers.
With this in mind, I created an Andean salad using mashed sweet potato leftovers from Christmas. Whatever your family eats for new years, a salad and a side dish are always necessary, right? So you can use this as your salad, or as your main side dish with an extra green salad on the side. It all depends on how green you want to go and how much you want to eat. Or why not make this salad, an extra green salad, and another side dish? After all, we only celebrate new years once every year!
Andean produce includes tubers such as potatoes and sweet potatoes, our unique Peruvian giant kernel corn (which you can purchase at most Latin American grocery stores), fava beans, Andean cheese, herbs, and chili peppers. Very heavy on the carbs, as you can see, but healthy carbs that will keep you energized during the night’s celebration.
I’ve put all of these traditional ingredients together in this robust salad, and added California raisins to make it even more nutritious, and to add a little sweetness to this spicy dish. I always add raisins to my food freely, because they are full of fiber, and natural sweetness which I can feel good about. They are also the cheapest dried fruit, and go well with pretty much every other flavor. Don’t you agree? They are also great to have around as a snack, as they are convenient, portable, and mess-free.
So try this salad if you want to surprise your family with a different, delicious, and satisfying dish these holidays, or make it any other time when you feel like getting lots of energy and nutrition in one meal.
Happy New Year!
- 4 Peruvian giant kernel corns on the cob (or just the kernels), cooked (replace with any other corn if you can't find this)
- 2 cups fava beans, cooked
- 1 cup baby tomatoes (the smallest you can find, or cherry tomatoes)
- 1 cup aguaymantos (you may find them as goldenberries or pichuberries)
- 1 cup Andean cheese (or queso fresco or feta) I used Peruvian queso de Paria
- 1 cup black (alphonso or botija) olives, pitted and sliced
- 1 cup California raisins (a mixture of golden and dark)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup leftover sweet potato puree (or 2 boiled or baked sweet potatoes, diced)
- Cilantro leaves
- ½ cup sprouts (optional)
- Baby spinach leaves
- 6 teaspoons aji amarillo paste (or more to taste)
- 1 cup Greek yogurt, natural
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1-2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a bowl combine corn kernels, fava beans, baby tomatoes, golden berries, cheese, olives, and raisins. Season with salt and pepper.
- With two small spoons make little balls with the sweet potato puree, if using. You might want to make little balls, roll them in grated bread or cooked quinoa and deep fried them. Or just use boiled or baked sweet potato cubes.
- Garnish with cilantro leaves.
- Line four plates with baby spinach leaves. Serve the salad on top of the spinach, and sprinkle with sprouts. Serve the garnish on the side, or you can dress the salad before serving.
- Combine the ingredients in a small bowl, making sure it is runny. If too thick, add a tablespoon of water or orange juice.
- *Make sure to add the aji amarillo paste a teaspoon at a time, testing as you go, so the dressing won´t be overly spicy.
- Serve immediately.