Salpicão | Day 5 of 31 days of Salad

posted on: Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sweet Juliana is the reason why I love my other job, teaching under-graduate students. For 4 years I worked as a Teaching Assistant for the Latin American and Latino Studies department at UC Santa Cruz. Juliana was one of my students. She kept me on my toes then and still keeps me on my toes now. Smart people make me happy, and Juliana is all sorts of smart. When I moved to Bahia in the Fall Juliana moved to Rio de Janeiro to study abroad. We like to share stories about our experience living in Brazil. You can read her travel blog and also her feminist blog, and then you can follow her on Twitter and on Facebook. You will love her I'm sure. Thanks Juliana for your delicious recipe and your beautifully written and photographed post - A+ for you.

My relationship with Latin American salads has been an evolving one. In general, I find that while a hearty plate of fried plantains, or tacos, or plain black beans and rice can satisfy almost all my cravings, the salads I have eaten south of the border just never seem to cut it. The wilted lettuce and pink tomatoes with vinegar are nothing compared to the gardens-in-a-bowl I'm used to eating on the California coast.

But lately I've realized that maybe I need to rethink my concept of salad. Like Damaris, I am currently living in Brazil, and I've learned to stop looking for my traditional salad ingredients and start picking up on what the other Brazilians are eating. I started appreciating shredded beets, mango, and palm hearts.

So after hearing about Damaris' 31 Days of Salad, I decided that I would use this as an opportunity to learn a new recipe. One of the main goals I have for this year that I am spending in Brazil is to learn more about my Brazilian half. This particular month, I am staying with my Brazilian family in the state of Espirito Santo, whose inhabitants are known as Capixaba (pronounced Ca-pee-sha-ba). It felt only fitting that I make a Capixaba salad, so I decided to ask our family's maid, Vania to teach me how to make this Salpicão recipe. Normally I'm not a fan of mayonnaise, but I like this recipe because it uses very little. You could even leave the mayonnaise out altogether, and just have a slightly drier salad. Hope you like it!


half a carrot, shredded
half an onion, chopped very fine
one bell pepper, chopped very fine
three celery stocks
two chicken breasts
three tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 cup raisins

  1. Boil chicken breasts until well cooked, then shred finely. Add salt to taste, along with any other seasonings you want. 
  2. Take the leaves off of the celery stocks, wash and chop them finely (can be substituted for parsley also).
  3. Mix carrot, onion, bell pepper, chicken, celery leaves and raisins, adding mayonnaise once well mixed. After adding the mayonnaise, be sure to mix well.
  4. Can be served on its own, or on top of salad greens.


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