With Peruvian Independence Day, July 28th, right around the corner, we think it's time to really highlight some of Peru's signature recipes. More than quinoa and potatoes, Peru has a bounty of veggies and seafood and a delicious tradition of farm-to-table foods.
Chefs the world over have declared Peruvian cuisine the next up-and-comer in the ever-expanding culinary world. With its dizzying biodiversity and varied cultural influences including Spanish, Asian, and rich indigenous traditions, Peru is a culinary hotbed of hearty and flavorful recipes. From classic, stick-to-your-ribs dishes like Lomo Saltado and Quinoa Stew with Cheese and Chilis to cocktail recipes such as Pisco Sour and desserts like Gluten-Free Yucca Cakes, this independence day celebrates all that Peru has to offer.
Peru's capital, Lima, is a city of many cebiche restaurants. In the summer, you can find all types of seafood, marinated with lime juice, salt and a variety of ingredients for a bowl of super fresh flavors. This Cebiche Elegance is clean, iconic, and everything you could ever hope for in a traditional cebiche peruano!
Peru has a strong tradition of homemade soup and creams. This comes from pre-Hispanic times, when ancient cultures put hot stones inside the pans to heat their soothing preparations. One of our favorites is this crema de zapallo loche, made with a delicate, intensely orange squash. It's comforting, hearty, and delicious.
Chef Ingrid Hoffmann's aguadito, a seafood stew simmered in a spicy, garlicky broth, is healthy and flavorful. She said of this hearty dish, “it's very comforting and delicious. And best of all it's what I call a one dish wonder, a full meal in a bowl.”
Wheat Berry Stew is a mouth-watering dish with a soft and cottony texture, made from wheat berries. This stew makes a wonderful side dish or entrée that is usually served next to a mount of white, fluffy rice. In the Andes, it’s all about simple combinations of bold flavors with great nutritional value. This dish is living proof of it.
Quinoa Atamalada (Andean Quinoa Stew with Yellow Chili Pepper and Cheese) is one of the tastiest ways to make quinoa. The spicy aji amarillo and queso fresco cubes make it salty and spicy, a typical flavor profile of regional stews in Peru.
The beauty and glory of giant Peruvian lima beans is their large flat shape and creamy texture that soaks up a tasting seasoning of olive oil, garlic, and onion. Served over a meaty portobello mushroom, the beans become a hearty vegetarian dinner.
The best Peruvian shrimp comes from the rivers in Arequipa. They are a fresh water species and very much appreciated for their size and flavor. Do not confuse them with langoustines, which are found in the ocean. In this dish, they are sauteed in a tomato-based sofrito and served with fluffy rice.
Quinoa is so versatile that it can be prepared as a dessert too. Here, it's mixed up like a rice pudding with tropical coconut milk and pineapple. This sweet dish has a different texture than what most are used to, it's delicious, and it's a healthy alternative to rice.