Peruvian Purple Potato and Squash Salad

This recipe is from a cookbook I bought recently thanks to a gift card from my in-laws. I had checked it out from our public library, but as I read through the cookbook, I realized I had to buy it. It had too many recipes I wanted to try!

It wasn’t until the book arrived in the mail that I noticed it had won the James Beard Foundation Cookbook of the Year for 2013. From what I have read, it definitely deserves the accolade. The book is Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America by Maricel E. Presilla.

I’m sure you’ll see more of her recipes here soon, but this is the first recipe I tried. It was savory and a bit creamy. I love potatoes and butternut squash and this recipe brought them together. I like chunky pieces of potato and squash so I cut my pieces large. This is my adaptation of her recipe. We served it alongside a grilled steak with a red chimichurri sauce but I think it would go well with many other dishes too.


Peruvian Purple Potato and Squash Salad

2 pounds purple potatoes, cut into cubes or large chunks

2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes or large chunks

Salt to taste

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon pimentón (Spanish smoked paprika, preferably hot)

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 ground allspice

1 small red onion, finely chopped

2 tablespoons cilantro or parsley leaves, chopped


Place the potatoes and the squash in separate sauce pans and cover each with 2 inches of water along with a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, cover and cook until tender but still slightly firm. Drain and set aside.


In a large bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients and add salt. Whisk again. Add the potatoes and the squash and toss gently to cover with the dressing. Serve warm or let the salad cool to room temperature.


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