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Huacatay table salsa

Huacatay table salsa
Maria Alejandra Cardona / Los Angeles Times

As it turns out, the whole roasted guinea pig was not the most memorable dish from a recent trip to Peru and Ecuador. And it wasn’t the tree tomatoes or polka-dotted potatoes either. Of all the new foods I experienced ... Read more

Total time: 30 minutes | Makes 1 generous cup salsa
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 large cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 large bunches huacatay, leaves only, about 4 cups lightly packed (amaranth or stinging nettle leaves can be substituted)

Step 1In a skillet over medium heat, cook the onion with ½ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper, or to taste, in 3 tablespoons of the olive oil until softened and pale golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cook a moment longer, then stir in the huacatay and a little more salt and pepper. Cook until the greens wilt, 2 to 3 minutes. Lower the heat, add ¼ cup water, cover the pot and cook until the greens are tender, about 10 minutes, adding another ¼ cup water, or as needed, if mixture seems dry.

Step 2Using an immersion blender and beaker or a small food processor, combine the huacatay mixture with ¼ cup water and purée. Slowly add the remaining olive oil as you continue blending. The salsa should be thick, but pourable, with a bit of texture. Scrape the salsa into a bowl, thinning with a little more water or olive oil as needed and adding additional salt and pepper to taste as needed. Serve at room temperature. The leftovers may be covered and refrigerated up to 5 to 6 days.

Each tablespoon:
Calories 49; Protein 0; Carbohydrates 1 gram; Fiber 0; Fat 5 grams; Saturated fat 1 gram; Cholesterol 0; Sugar 0; Sodium 54 mg
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