Welcome to my kitchen, where I’ll be sharing with you a delicious and refreshing recipe for ensalada criolla, a traditional Peruvian salad. This salad is bursting with flavors and textures that will make your taste buds dance with joy.
Ensalada criolla is a dish that is loved by many people in Latin America, and for a good reason. It’s a simple salad that is made with fresh and vibrant ingredients such as red onions, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes. The salad is dressed with a zesty mixture of lime juice and olive oil, and it’s finished with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro.
In this article, I’ll be walking you through the steps of making this delicious ensalada criolla recipe. Whether you’re an experienced cook or a beginner in the kitchen, this recipe is easy to follow, and the results are sure to impress. So grab your apron, and let’s get started!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Are you looking for a refreshing and flavorful salad recipe to add to your repertoire? Look no further than this Ensalada Criolla recipe. This traditional Peruvian dish is bursting with fresh ingredients and zesty flavors that are sure to delight your taste buds.
One of the reasons why you’ll love this recipe is its versatility. It can be served as a side dish, a light lunch, or even as a topping for tacos or grilled meats. The colorful array of ingredients, including red and green bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and avocados, make it a feast for the eyes as well as the palate.
Another reason to love this recipe is its simplicity. With just a handful of fresh ingredients and a few pantry staples like olive oil and lime juice, you can whip up a delicious and healthy meal in no time. Plus, the recipe can easily be adapted to suit your personal tastes – prefer a little extra heat? Add some diced jalapenos or aji amarillo peppers to the mix.
Beyond its delicious taste and ease of preparation, this Ensalada Criolla recipe also boasts several health benefits. The combination of fresh vegetables and healthy fats from the avocado make it a nutritious addition to any meal. The lime juice and cilantro add a burst of flavor while also aiding in digestion.
Overall, this Ensalada Criolla recipe is a must-try for anyone looking to add some variety and flavor to their meals. From its vibrant colors to its bold flavors and health benefits, this dish is sure to become a staple in your recipe collection.
- 2 medium red onions, thinly sliced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 medium green bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 1 small white onion, finely chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 orange bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 tomato, chopped small
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 large avocados, sliced
- 4 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- Salsa Criolla (Argentinian Salsa) or Peruvian Salsa Criolla (Onion Relish)
- Aji Amarillo (Peruvian Yellow Chili Pepper), optional
Note: For a traditional Ensalada Criolla recipe, use Peruvian red onion relish (salsa criolla) and ají amarillo, but you can use Argentinian salsa or any other kind of salsa salad that you like.
Make sure to have all the ingredients ready before starting the recipe.
The Recipe How-To
Step 1: Prepare the Ingredients
Before anything else, gather all the ingredients of the Ensalada Criolla recipe. Wash the 4 cups of cherry tomatoes, 2 medium red onions, 1 medium red bell pepper, 1 medium green bell pepper and 2 large avocados. Then, slice the cherry tomatoes in half, and thinly slice the red onions and bell peppers into half-moon shapes. Finely chop the cilantro and set aside.
Step 2: Make the Salsa Criolla
In a bowl, mix together the small red onion and 1 small green bell pepper, both finely chopped. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of lime juice, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix well and set aside. This is the salsa criolla or Argentinian salsa, which will add a tangy and zesty flavor to the salad.
Step 3: Make the Peruvian Salsa Criolla
In a separate bowl, mix together the 2 thinly sliced red onions, 1 thinly sliced red bell pepper, and 1 thinly sliced yellow bell pepper. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of lime juice, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix well and set aside. This is the Peruvian salsa criolla, which has a milder flavor than the Argentinian salsa.
Step 4: Combine All the Ingredients
In a large bowl, combine the sliced cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced red onions, red and green bell peppers, and chopped cilantro. Add the salsa criolla and the Peruvian salsa criolla to the bowl and mix well.
Step 5: Add the Avocado
Before serving, add the 2 large avocados, which should be peeled, seeded, and diced. Mix gently to avoid mashing the avocado.
Step 6: Serve and Enjoy
Serve the ensalada criolla in a large bowl family-style or portioned onto individual plates. This salad is perfect as a side dish for grilled meats or as a refreshing main dish on a hot day. Garnish with additional cilantro and lime wedges, if desired. Enjoy your homemade Peruvian red onion relish and criolla traditional sauce recipe!
Substitutions and Variations
One of the great things about Ensalada Criolla is its versatility. You can make substitutions and variations to suit your taste, preferences, or what you have on hand. Here are some ideas to get you started:
– Instead of red onions, use thinly sliced white onions or shallots for a milder flavor.
– Swap out the bell peppers for different types of sweet peppers, such as orange, yellow, or green bell peppers, or try roasted red peppers for a smoky flavor.
– If you can’t find cherry tomatoes, use diced Roma tomatoes or even halved grape tomatoes.
– For a creamier texture, add diced fresh mozzarella or crumbled feta cheese.
– If you don’t have cilantro, use fresh parsley or basil instead.
– If you want some heat, add diced jalapeno or serrano peppers, or try ají amarillo, a Peruvian chili pepper that adds a fruity, slightly spicy flavor.
– Instead of the traditional Salsa Criolla, try a different type of salsa, such as a Peruvian salsa criolla or an Argentinian salsa criolla. You can also make your own by mixing diced tomatoes, onions, peppers, olive oil, and lime juice.
– Add some protein to make it a complete meal. Grilled steak, chicken, or shrimp would be great options, or try adding canned tuna or chickpeas for a vegetarian option.
Remember, the key is to experiment and have fun with it!
Serving and Pairing
Ensalada Criolla is a versatile dish that can be served as a side dish or a main course. It pairs perfectly with grilled meats, seafood, or even vegetarian dishes. The fresh and vibrant flavors of this salad are a great complement to any meal.
When serving Ensalada Criolla as a side, I recommend pairing it with grilled steak or chicken. The acidity of the lime juice and the sweetness of the bell peppers and tomatoes will balance out the richness of the meat. It’s also a perfect side dish for grilled fish or shrimp, as it adds a refreshing touch to the meal.
For a vegetarian option, you can serve Ensalada Criolla with grilled vegetables, such as eggplant, zucchini, and portobello mushrooms. The salad’s bright flavors will complement the smoky flavors of the vegetables, providing a delicious and healthy meal.
To make the dish even more exciting, you can serve it with a side of roasted potatoes or plantains. The crispy texture of the potatoes or the sweetness of the plantains will provide a nice contrast to the soft and juicy vegetables in the salad.
Overall, Ensalada Criolla is a perfect dish for any occasion, whether it’s a simple weekday meal or a fancy dinner party. Its fresh and vibrant flavors are sure to impress your guests and leave them wanting more.
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
Ensalada Criolla is a perfect recipe for those who like to plan ahead. This salad can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to one day before serving. However, it is important to note that the avocado should be added just before serving to prevent browning.
If you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. When reheating, gently mix the salad to redistribute the dressing and flavors. You can also add a bit of fresh lime juice and olive oil to revive the flavors.
It is important to note that the texture of the vegetables may change a bit after being stored and reheated, especially the tomatoes and onions. However, the flavor will still be delicious.
If you plan on making this salad for a potluck or party, you can prepare the ingredients ahead of time and assemble the salad just before serving. This way, you can ensure that the vegetables stay fresh and crispy.
Overall, Ensalada Criolla is a versatile salad that can be made ahead of time and stored for later. Just be sure to add the avocado just before serving and gently mix the salad when reheating.
Tips for Perfect Results
Here are some helpful tips to ensure that your Ensalada Criolla turns out perfectly every time:
1. Use fresh ingredients: Fresh ingredients make all the difference in this recipe. Use ripe avocados, juicy cherry tomatoes, and crisp bell peppers for the best flavor and texture.
2. Slice your vegetables thinly: For the best texture, slice your onions, bell peppers, and tomatoes thinly. This will ensure that they cook evenly and blend well with the other ingredients.
3. Make your own Salsa Criolla: While store-bought salsa criolla can be convenient, making your own ensures that you get the perfect balance of flavors. Combine finely chopped red onion, cilantro, lime juice, and olive oil for a tangy and flavorful dressing.
4. Adjust seasoning to taste: This recipe calls for a blend of lime juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper, but feel free to adjust the seasoning to your liking. If you prefer a spicier salad, add a pinch of red pepper flakes or diced jalapeños.
5. Let the salad marinate: Allowing the salad to marinate for at least 30 minutes before serving allows the flavors to meld together and intensify. If you have the time, let it sit in the fridge for a few hours or overnight for even better results.
6. Serve chilled: Ensalada Criolla is best served chilled, so make sure to keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. The cool temperature enhances the flavors and makes for a refreshing side dish.
By following these tips, you’re sure to create a delicious and authentic Ensalada Criolla every time. Enjoy!
Before you start making this delicious Ensalada Criolla recipe, you might have some questions about the ingredients, cooking process, or even the history of this dish. To help you out, I have compiled a list of frequently asked questions and their answers to make sure you have all the information you need to get started. So, let’s dive into the FAQ section!
What is salsa criolla made of?
Salsa criolla is a popular condiment in Latin American cooking that combines a blend of finely chopped vegetables and herbs. This sauce is typically made with sliced onions, tomatoes, garlic, chili peppers, bell peppers, vinegar, olive oil, and seasoned with salt, pepper, and fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley.
Is the salsa from argentina?
Salsa criolla, also known as sarza criolla, is a beloved sauce in South America, particularly in Argentina. It’s a flavorful condiment with a name that translates to Creole sauce.
In conclusion, Ensalada Criolla is a delicious and nutritious salad that is perfect for any occasion. With its vibrant colors and fresh ingredients, it is sure to impress your guests and leave them wanting more. What’s more, this recipe is incredibly versatile, allowing you to customize it to your liking with various substitutions and variations.
Whether you’re a fan of Peruvian or Argentinian cuisine, this salad is a must-try. So why not give it a try? With these easy-to-follow instructions and helpful tips, you’ll be able to make the perfect Ensalada Criolla in no time. So grab your ingredients and get cooking!
Ensalada Criolla Recipe
- 2 medium avocados, cubed
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved (sunburst or grape tomatoes will work as well)
- 1 medium red onion, sliced
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, taking care not to crush the avocado.
- Let rest at least 10 minutes to marinate the flavors before serving.
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Lucy is a mom who loves to cook up a storm. She enjoys discovering, collecting, and experimenting with delicious, healthy recipes for her blog. With her passion for cooking, Lucy is always coming up with her own unique creations to share with the world.