This Brazilian gaucho potato salad brings together the best late summer flavours – from baby gem potatoes and grilled sweetcorn, to peas, carrots and apples – all in one delicious dish.
With the Rio Olympics on at the moment, all eyes are on Brazil. We’re sipping caipirinha cocktails, barbecuing and being introduced to traditional regional dishes like feijoada, (black bean stew), pão de queijo (cheese bread) and brigadeiros (chocolate truffles). So while cheering on the athletes, I was inspired to create a Brazilian dish of my own!
The traditional Brazilian gaucho potato salad from theRio Grande do Sul typically includes potatoes, corn, carrots, peas and mayonnaise – though there are many, many variants. Some add raisins, some forego the apple – but they all merge together loads of veggies with potatoes and slather it all with creamy mayo. This salad is easy to make vegan – just use dairy-free mayo.
Brazil is well known for it’s meaty barbecues, but veggies can definitely still get in on the action. For my vegetarian gaucho potato salad, I’ve grilled the potatoes and corn to give it that lovely, smokey, summery taste. You can grill them outside on the barbecue, or inside in a griddle pan. Because, well, our weather isn’t quite like Rio!
What I love is that this dish can be recreated using the best seasonal British produce. It doesn’t matter that this gaucho potato salad comes from the other side of the world, it is simply an easy way to make the most of our own bounty.
Potatoes form the backbone of this dish, so I’ve used Taste the Difference British Gems. These little new potatoes have delicate, papery skins, a creamy texture and a lovely nutty flavour. By dressing them with mint and then grilling them before adding them to the salad, they not only bulk out the gaucho potato salad, but they bring a wide depth of flavours, including that lovely smokey charred taste from the grill.
I’ve also used new season sweetcorn cobs and grilled them as well for more smokey flavour, before adding some local carrots, apples (I used Taste the Difference Kanzi apples), frozen Lincolnshire peas and some sprigs of mint from my garden. It’s quite amazing how a traditional Brazilian salad can be so easily recreated with local British ingredients.
- 500g new potatoes (I used Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference British Gems)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint
- 2 cobs of sweetcorn
- 100g (1 cup) peas (fresh or frozen)
- 1 medium-sized raw carrot, peeled
- 1 apple
- 2 raw shallots, very finely sliced
- 2-3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- Juice of half a lemon
- Wash the potatoes and cut them so they're in similarly-sized pieces suitable for skewers.
- Boil the potatoes in salted water until just cooked through. Drain and rinse the potatoes, then thread onto skewers.
- In a small bowl, mix the oil and mint together. Brush the mint oil onto the skewered potatoes and barbecue until lightly charred. Alternatively, cook them indoors on a griddle pan. Allow to cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, boil the sweetcorn cobs for a few minutes until tender. Grill on the barbecue or in a griddle pan until lightly charred. Allow to cool, then slice the corn kernels from the cob.
- Boil the peas for a few minutes until cooked. Drain and set aside.
- Spiralize or julienne the carrot and apple and add to a large bowl with the grilled potatoes, corn kernels, peas and shallots. Add the mayonnaise and gently toss to coat. Drizzle with the lemon juice and serve cold.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Sainsburys. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that make it possible for me to mess up my kitchen and write Veggie Desserts – Healthy Food and Lifestyle.