A throwback to the culinary delights of Peru
Creating food from the lands beyond, is a sure way to barge into the memories from your old journeys.
The thing with food is, that your food journey doesn’t necessarily end with your travel; if anything, it is only born there. I find that I take food inspiration from all our travels, whether it is adding a Creole touch to my food by taking inspiration from the cuisine in Seychelles or adding the Amok curries to my quiver, from the heady Khmer cuisine of Cambodia. Creating food from the lands beyond, is a sure way to barge into the memories from your old journeys.
Travels in Peru introduced me to the wonderful world of Quinoa. One of our most mentionable meals was at a restaurant called Pachapapa, in Cusco, highly recommended by the locals. It was a beautiful setup for lunch, with outside-seating in a courtyard, whilst a harpist played his tune along. We called for a cold Quinoa salad to begin with. It was my first time having Quinoa and I fell in love. With the fluffed up glistening pearls of goodness, the crunch provided in each bite, accompanied with the fresh creaminess of avocados and a touch of sour bite from the tomatoes.
Today, I use quinoa in many recipes, but the cold Peruvian Quinoa salad that first introduced me to the world of Quinoa is still my favourite recipe. Of course, I have added my little twist to it (well, what is life without some twists, anyway?)
Prepare your Quinoa (the rule of thumb being, boil one part quinoa with two parts water). Chop avocadoes, radishes, onions, jalapenos and oranges. I love my salads with something juicy and sour, like pineapples, sultanas, grapes and oranges. Here, tomatoes in the original recipe have been replaced with oranges, which I find lend an even fresher element to the ensemble.
Now, I love the Queso cheese (the original cheese used in this recipe) as much as the other person, but in my recipe, I wanted some more texture and there is no better cheese than Haloumi to render that. Jalapenos and chilli flakes add the quintessential South American heat to this salad.
This is a cold fresh salad and would go well on a hot summer day.