Locro de zapallo
Andean pumpkin, potato and veggies stew
Growing up in Perú I saw my Mom and Grandma preparing a diverse of dishes that are Quechua rooted and, they have been modified thru the years. Locro de zapallo (A basic version is a pumpkin stew with potatoes and a variety of vegetables) is one of them. I have to confess that many times couldn’t deny my disappointment when my mom used serve Locro for Lunch. Despite of its delicious taste, I did not like the fact that had many vegetables on one dish and, its appearance was not the more stylish!
Years forward, I became a vegetarian and Locro de zapallo, original rocro in Quechua, is one of my favorite dishes to cook and eat. Now days I admire its beautiful colors and the power of all the nutrients.
My husband and my boy at home are meat eater and I usually upgrade the recipe, adding 2 dozen shrimp tails, cleaned, lightly sautéed in a little oil or butter until they change their color.
Locro de zapallo (Serves 4)
- 2 lb pumpkin, diced. We use a type of pumpkin called “macre”, but if you’re not in Perú you can experiment with any pumpkin. In that case you may need to adjust the cooking time and method, to get a very soft, mashed pumpkin.
- 2 white potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 red onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, mashed
- 2 tablespoons aji amarillo paste (optional)
- 1 cup giant kernel corn
- ½ cup green peas
- ½ cup diced carrots
- ½ cup unsweetened evaporated milk
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup white cheese, diced (queso fresco)
- ½ cup of black olives, diced.
- Vegetable oil
- Salt and pepper
Optional: 1 tablespoons huacatay leaves (black mint), or parsley leaves chopped.
Preparation: In a saucepan with a little vegetable oil, sauté onion and garlic over high heat. Add pumpkin, potatoes, corn, carrots, vegetable stock, salt, and pepper. Lower the heat, and cook, semi covered and stirring every now and then, until all the vegetables are tender. Add green peas.
Add evaporated milk and white cheese. Stir and heat through but do not let it boil. Season with more salt and pepper, if needed; add herbs, and serve immediately with white rice. Buen Provecho my friend.
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Lorena Saavedra Smith, ERYT