One of our customs in the city of Cuzco is to eat any main dish with a hot sauce, an aji as we call it, and a fresh and refreshing salad. At the moment we eat our lunches both are present, whether in a restaurant of in our homes.
Various kinds of salads are prepared for our lunches. One of the most well known is made from onions, cucumber and tomato. Another is the ensalada rusa, the Russian salad. An additional one we eat a lot is the parsley salad.
In our chicken houses and restaurants a different variety of salads is presented, one made up of a different range of ingredients. It will be composed of some combination of lettuce, cooked carrots, cooked beets, cabbage, and other things. These salads are often presented in a bar and you can combine the ingredients in any way you wish and eat as much as you wish.
In our markets the salad that is the most prepared by our vendors, our caseras, is the onion, cucumber, and tomato one. It is delicious and much appreciated here. The caseras usually serve it by the side of the portion of rice. The onions are slices in a julienne, what we call plumas or feathers, while the tomatoes and cucumbers a sliced. A little bit of salt goes on along with limejuice and then the salad is placed on our plates.
At home we also have salad for special moments and special meals, such as in a birthday or at Christmas. Generally this will be the ensalada rusa. It is made from beets, carrots, and peas combined with mayonnaise. To make it you first boil the beets, carrots, and peas. The two root vegetables you dices in small cubes and then mix with the peas followed by the mayonnaise. It is now ready to accompany a delicious baked chicken or turkey.
People in Cuzco eat these salads, in one form or another, every day. Without them a main dish just would not be good