Solterito Corn and Lima Bean Salad

Solterito Salad - Corn and Lima Bean Salad. Marian Blazes
  • 30 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4-6 as a side salad.
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Solterito is one of the specialty dishes of Arequipa, a beautiful city surrounded by dramatic volcanos in southern Peru. Solterito is a vegetable salad, traditionally prepared with the lima beans and large kernel choclo corn that grow so well in Peru. (You can find frozen choclo at Latin food markets).

The word soltero means "single", and solterito (the diminutive form) translates to something like "little single man."   I read somewhere that this traditional dish from Arequipa is named for single people who diet in order to be attractive to the opposite sex.  Not sure if that is true, but it is a somewhat lighter and refreshing dish compared to many other traditional Peruvian specialties

Chunks of salty queso fresco cheese (a firm white salty cheese), spicy rocoto chile pepper, tomatoes, olives, and red onion make this salad burst with flavor and color. This is a great summer picnic salad, but it can be prepared with frozen vegetables in the winter as well.

What You'll Need

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen lima beans
  • 1 1/2 cups corn kernels
  • 1 cup of diced carrots
  • 1/2 cup black or green olives, sliced crosswise
  • 1 tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 1/2 cups diced queso fresco cheese (farmer's cheese or mozzarella mixed with a small amount of feta cheese works well as a substitute)
  • 2-3 tablespoons finely diced red chile pepper (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley or cilantro
  • Vinaigrette dressing (6 tablespoons olive oil, 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste)

How to Make It

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the corn kernels until they are just tender. Remove the corn to a bowl of ice water to cool.
  2. Cook the carrots and the lima beans together (in the same pot of boiling salted water) until they are crisp-tender.  Drain them and place them in the ice water with the corn for at least 5 minutes.
  3. Drain the chilled vegetables well and toss them with remaining ingredients. Let the salad marinate for a couple of hours in the refrigerator if possible before serving.

    Serves 4-6 as a side salad.