This Peruvian quinoa salad is an absolute must-try. It combines one of our favorite ultra-nutritious Andean grains, quinoa, with slices of avocado, cherry tomatoes, toasted sweet corn, raw onions, fresh coriander, lime juice, nuts, all rounded off with a tiny spicy touch of rocoto chilli pepper. A delicious, cold starter that is totally guilt-free as it’s super healthy, and also perfect for those following a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.
Skip the green leaves and go for a more substantial offering in this quinoa, sweetcorn, and delicious avocado salad.
There are many Peruvian recipes with quinoa, but this one definitely tops our list in terms of flavor. If you were on the look-out for a different way to use avocado, this might also be the Peruvian avocado salad for you. And let’s face it: if even the chef was pleasantly surprised by how tasty the dish turned out, you know you’ve got a winning recipe on your hands!
Quinoa The Super Ingredient
Quinoa is actually technically a seed, but in general, it’s known and classified as a grain. Not just any grain though, this tiny tot is so packed with nutrients like protein, dietary fiber, calcium and B vitamins, it’s no wonder it has become so popular in countries outside of Peru over the last twenty years. It has been consumed in the altiplano area around Lake Titicaca for 3000 to 4000 years now, and Peru remains the largest quinoa producer and exporter, followed closely by Bolivia.
There are over 100 varieties of quinoa, though not all of these get exported to other countries. The main varieties that are commercially available are regular quinoa, red, and black quinoa. This Peruvian quinoa salad recipe uses regular quinoa, but you could also try making it with any other type, or even combine several.
Quinoa has been a staple food for the people from the Peruvian and Bolivian highlands for millennia, and is portrayed beautifully in an Aymara legend that narrates the origins of the quinoa plant. The legend speaks of an Andean village where a young farmer falls in love with a girl he catches pulling up potatoes from his field at night.
She flies off into the sky and turns into a star, upon which the young farmer asks for the condor’s help to take him up to her to live there together. Once he’s there, she feeds him solely with quinoa, and when he wants to go back down to Earth to visit his family, she gives him some quinoa for his family to grow.
If you’re loving this quinoa salad and like the taste of the nutty seed grain, try our quinoa milk pudding recipe!
Time to get use this cereal sent by the heavens and cultivated in the beautiful Andes mountains and turn it into one of the best Peruvian salads you’ve tried so far!
Peruvian Quinoa Salad With Avocado
- 55 g raw quinoa
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 120 g sweetcorn
- 65 g cherry tomatoes chopped
- 1 Lime Juice and grated zest
- 1 small bunch coriander roughly chopped
- 1 1/2 medium onions finely sliced
- 1/2 medium-large red chilli chopped finely. Remember to remove the seeds to reduce hotness.
- 1 avocado ripe
- 25 g nuts: brazils almonds, brazil nuts, pecans and walnuts
- pinch salt & pepper to taste
- Bring a small pan of water to the boil. Rinse the raw quinoa in cold water and add to the boiling water.
- Stir regularly and simmer on a low heat for about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, put the sweet corn into a dry frying pan (without oil) and place on a medium to high heat. Cook for 5 minutes and turn occasionally until the sweet corn is lightly toasted.
- Grate the lime for its zest and squeeze the juice out.
- Strain the quinoa thoroughly using a fine strainer, ensuring all the liquid has been removed. Let cool for 5 minutes and then place the quinoa in a large bowl and mix with the olive oil.
- Add the coriander, sweet corn, tomatoes, onions, lime zest and red chilli pepper. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove the flesh of the avocado with a large spoon and cut into thin slices.
- Add the avocado, lime juice and nuts to the salad and mix gently together before serving.
Peruvian foodie. I’ve been writing about the food of Peru for over 10 years. Read more about the Eat Peru team here
Should/Could this be refrigerated for a while prior to serving?