This Brazilian gaucho potato salad brings together the best summer flavours - from charred new potatoes and grilled sweetcorn, to peas, carrots and apples - all in one delicious dish that's perfect as a barbecue side.
Originally published 11 August 2016.
I love a nice potato salad. It was always a summer staple for al fresco dining when I was growing up, and potato salads still always grace my outdoor dining table in the summer months. Potatoes are so hearty and act as a wonderful vehicle for a variety of dressings.
But potatoes really shine in this Brazilian potato salad. They're charred first to give a smokey flavour, then tossed with apple and carrot, as well as bursts of flavour from peas and corn. This is a great make-ahead salad that's naturally gluten free and easily vegan.
This salad would be a wonderful barbecue side dish alongside butter bean salad and blackberry beetroot salad. You can also use grilled corn in my grilled chipotle salad in tortilla bowls. For another grilled salad, try my grilled vegan Caesar salad.
You'll be needing a tasty drink for the barbecue. Sure you can serve this with cold beers and maybe a cocktail. But don't forget something special for those not drinking alcohol. You could wow them with this gorgeous cold brew iced tea. It sounds super-refreshing and is a cooling way to enjoy tea.
Brazilian Potato Salad
The traditional Brazilian potato salad from the Rio 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.
Brazil is well known for it's meaty barbecues, but veggies can definitely still get in on the action. For my vegetarian 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!
Why you should make this Brazilian potato salad:
The charred potatoes give a lovely smokey flavour
Dressing the potatoes with mint before grilling gives a subtle extra flavour
It holds up well if made in advance
Gets even better then next day
A great barbecue side dish
A hearty salad
You can spiralize the carrot and apple, or grate or julienne
Use a bbq or griddle pan
Make it gluten free/vegan
Make it dairy free and vegan: Use non-dairy mayonnaise alternative
Make it gluten free: This dish is naturally gluten-free.
Making Gaucho Brazilian Potato Salad
Potatoes form the backbone of this dish, so I've used little new potatoes that 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 Brazilian 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, frozen 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.
Get the Brazilian Potato Salad Recipe
Brazilian Gaucho Potato Salad
- 500 g new potatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons fresh mint (chopped)
- 2 cobs sweetcorn
- 100 g peas (fresh or frozen)
- 1 carrot peeled
- 1 apple
- 2 shallots very finely sliced
- 2 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.