From the potato’s original birthplace, Peru, comes this national dish of potato salad with spicy cheese sauce. Served cold or at room temperature, the purple sapphire potatoes are a colour-popping stand out.
- 600 g small sapphire potatoes (see Note) or other waxy potatoes
- 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
- 2 small red onions, thinly sliced
- 3 whole aji amarillo (yellow Peruvian chillies) in brine, roughly chopped (or use ¼ cup aji amarillo paste) (see Note)
- 100 g queso fresco (see Note), plus extra, crumbled, to serve
- 250 ml (1 cup) evaporated milk
- 60 ml (¼ cup) milk
- 2 Salada quarters, crumbled
- 2 limes, juiced
- 45 g (¼ cup) small black olives, such as Niçoise or Ligurian
- 1 tbsp roughly chopped coriander
- soft-boiled eggs and baby cos lettuce leaves, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Place potatoes in a pan of cold, salted water and bring to the boil. Cook for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain, then set aside to cool. Peel and discard skins, then cut potatoes into wedges.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic and one-quarter of the onions. Cook, stirring, for 6 minutes or until soft and translucent. Set aside to cool slightly.
To make sauce, place aji amarillo, queso fresco, evaporated milk, milk, crackers, 1½ tbsp lime juice, remaining 2 tbsp oil and fried onion mixture in a blender and blend to a purée. Transfer mixture to a bowl, then season with salt and pepper. Makes 500ml (2 cups). Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days and serve with grilled chicken or steak.
Meanwhile, place olives and coriander in a bowl with remaining onion and lime juice, and toss gently to combine.
Divide potatoes among plates, drizzle each with some sauce, then top with onion salad and scatter with extra queso fresco. Serve cold with eggs and lettuce leaves.
• Sapphire potatoes are purple and slightly floury, which makes them suitable for boiling. They remain purple when cooked.
• The Goya brand of amarillo chillies is available, both whole in brine and in a paste, from specialist food shops and delis.
• Queso fresco (literally 'fresh cheese’) is a soft, mild cheese made from cow’s milk and is traditionally used to make papas a la huancaina. It is available from Casa Iberica Deli. Substitute a mild feta, such as Danish, or farmer’s cottage cheese.
Photography by John Laurie.
As seen in Feast magazine, Sept 2011, Issue 1. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.