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Potato Salad Latin Style

07.20.2011 · Posted in Salads & Dressings, Side Dishes

Causa Rellena

Potatoes are common fair throughout the Latin countries.  This recipe is inspired by the Peruvian causa relleña, filled layers of seasoned mashed potatoes.  To the potatoes I’ve added a Puerto Rican sofrito with lots of cilantro, sauteed in a little annato oil, plus some crumbled crispy bacon. This is similar to a Puerto Rican mofongo which is usually made with fried green plantains and chicharones (crispy fried pork rinds).  The mofongo lines a bowl and is filled with savory sauteed shrimp, chicken or other meat. Causa layers are more often filled with chicken, octopus or crab salad.  Here I’ve used avocado slices dressed with a citrus vinaigrette.  The topping is a salad of roasted red peppers with fresh oregano, capers and citrus vinaigrette plus a 4-minute boiled egg.

Minus the egg and bacon, this is a tasty vegetarian dish and certainly an alternative to those mayonnaise laden potato salads.  Serve this as a side dish with grilled snapper or your favorite steak.  Its a great salad-main served with a cold crab gazpacho or a lobster bisque.  Mini sized causas made with purple or blue potatoes make elegant appetizers.  Rather than individual causas you can make this family-sized and cut it into serving wedges.

Ingredients for 4 servings:

  •  2 lbs potatoes, peeled and boiled until fork-tender (Yukon gold preferrably though any potato will work)
  • 4 strips of bacon, fried crisp and crumbled (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp sofrito (see link above)
  • 1 Tbsp annato oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp citrus vinaigrette, divided (recipe below)
  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted and diced
  • 1 Tbsp capers
  • 1 sprig fresh oregano, chopped fine (or 1 Tbsp cilantro, chopped fine)
  • 4 eggs, boiled 4 minutes (optional)

Ingredients for the Vinaigrette:

  • 6 Tbsp salad oil (light olive oil)
  • 1 Tbsp each fresh lemon juice and fresh lime juice
  • pinch of hot red pepper flakes
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Drain potatoes and return to pot to dry and cool slightly.
  2. Saute sofrito with annato oil for 2 minutes, just until fragrant.
  3. Mash potatoes with sauteed sofrito and bacon crumbs leaving some lumps and texture.  Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
  4. Form potatoes into 2 round discs equal in size.  Arrange 1 disc on a plate.
  5. Dress avocado slices with 2 Tbsp vinaigrette and layer over bottom layer of potatoes.
  6. Top avocado with the second potato disc.
  7. In a small bowl combine roasted red peppers, capers, oregano and 2 Tbsp of vinaigrette.  Taste and correct seasoning if necessary.  Spoon over top layer of potatoes.
  8. Garnish with sliced boiled eggs, course sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

May be made ahead and chilled until service.  Let come up to room temperature before serving.




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One Response to “Potato Salad Latin Style”

  1. Real good info can be found on this website .

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