LIMA the cookbookPeruvian Home Cooking


Peruvian food is famous around the world for its celebration of healthy, superfood ingredients and this book by Michelin-starred chef Virgilio Martinez will show you how to cook it at home wherever you live.Peruvian food is famous around the world for its celebration of healthy, superfood ingredients and this book by Michelin-starred chef Virgilio Martinez will show you how to cook it at home wherever you live.

The growing popularity of Peruvian cuisine throughout the world has made Lima, the capital of Peru, a destination city for food lovers. Virgilio Martinez is the most famous young chef in Peru. His restaurant Central, in Lima, is among the best in the world and he has opened two LIMA restaurants in the heart of London. With this collection of more than 100 of Virgilio’s fuss-free, contemporary recipes you can cook this fresh, vibrant, healthy food at home using your local fish, meat and vegetables – plus the superfoods for which Peruvian food is renowned.

Virgilio Martinez was the national skateboarding champion of Peru in the 1990s but, after an accident, decided to study law in Lima. During a holiday job, he discovered his passion for cooking, dropped out of university, and travelled to Canada and then London to become a Cordon Bleu graduate. After working for 10 years in Canada, Europe and Asia he became head chef of Gastón Acurio’s restaurant in Bogota. Returning home, he opened his own restaurant, Central, in the Peruvian capital in 2010, recently voted the number one best restaurant by Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants list and 4th position in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants ranking. The 37-year-old chef also has two restaurants in London – LIMA and LIMA Floral – celebrating informal modern Peruvian cooking. LIMA is the UK’s first and only Peruvian restaurant to be given a Michelin star. Martinez also runs Mater Initiativa – a foundation for research into, and protection of, Peruvian food culture.

Quinua con Colinabo y Cebolla Perla (Quinoa with Kohlrabi and pearl Onions)

Quinua

Quinoa is one of Peru’s staple foods (see page 58) and is as healthy as it is versatile. Quinoa can be used as a substitute for rice and its texture will change when sautéed or fried. In this recipe I have used white quinoa, but you can use any variety. If available garnish with borage flowers, but feel free to use other edible flowers or your favorite seasonal herbs.

Serves 4 

1⅔ cups white quinoa
3 tablespoons olive oil
1¾oz pearl onions, peeled but left whole
3½oz trimmed purple kohlrabi, peeled and thinly sliced
⅛ cup capers
½-inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
handful of cilantro and flat-leaf parsley, chopped
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
handful of borage flowers and young herbs, to garnish

1  Rinse the quinoa in cold running water until the water 
runs clear, then drain.
2  Place the quinoa in a saucepan with a tight-fitting lid 
and add water to cover by 2 inches. Cover with the lid and 
bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir, re-cover, and reduce the heat to low. Cook for about 15 minutes—the quinoa is ready when you can see a little ring on the outside of the grain and it is soft. Rinse in cold water, then drain well.
3  Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a sauté pan and sauté the quinoa for 5 minutes. Set aside.
4  Heat another 1 tablespoon olive oil in a separate pan and sauté the onions until golden. Add the kohlrabi and capers.
5  Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the first pan and sauté the grated ginger for 20 seconds. Add the sautéed quinoa and vegetables, and season with salt and pepper to taste, then stir in the chopped herbs. Serve garnished with the borage flowers and young herbs.