Salmorejo – a Healthy Spanish Dish
Cordoba my neighbouring province is home, they say, to Salmorejo the thicker cousin of Gazpacho usually made without cucumbers. In my years of living here (25 this year) I´ve sampled a fair few Salmorejos from prize-winning ones to mediocre affairs. Did I say I like it? In these months of winter cold dishes are rarely on the menu so as I am thinking spring is around the corner and dreaming ´summer´ I thought I´d share happy thoughts and a summer dish.
Having got Gazpacho down to a fine art, I now add extras like red pepper, green pepper and apple (don’t tell the only son who partakes,) I now make a fairly decent Salmorejo too. I am looking forward to this year´s tomato glut as I have a little something extra up my sleeve! I admit I would rather eat than cook, but also I would rather cook than pay to eat boring food or dishes that I can match or better.
Up my sleeve (that means copying) is a nice twist that I sampled quite recently (although it wasn´t really that recently because I have taken no trips for quite a while) and that was crispy jamon on top. The usual garnish is chopped up hard boiled egg and bits of jamon – well the sampling of no egg but fried, crispy jamon with the smooth texture of the Salmorejo was just amazing.
So come on warmer tomato growing weather I am so looking forward to reproducing that. When I started making Salmorejo I tried various Spanish cookery book recipes but I am not very disciplined so basically they turned out the same. Now I just go with the flow. It´s a messy business but make a big lot in one go and it is worth it, even if it doesn´t last double the time!
Ingredients – for 4
garlic cloves, 2
1kg sweet tomatoes, cut in half
100g white bread, with the crusts removed and roughly broken up
10 tsp virgin olive oil, Spanish of course
2 tbsp sweet red-wine or sherry vinegar
pinch of caster sugar
sea salt and black pepper
1 hard-boiled egg, finely chopped
3 tbsp serrano jamon, finely chopped
Put the garlic and sea salt into a mortar and crush to form a smooth paste.
Use a food processor and puree the tomatoes and bread until smooth.
Strain through a sieve. Add the garlic to the mixture and add the olive oil slowly. When it is all mixed together pour into a mixing bowl, add the vinegar, salt and pepper to taste and a pinch of sugar if needed, this depends on the sweetness of the tomatoes used.
It should be a smooth puree, add a little watet to thin it down to the consistency you want.
Chill in the fridge for about 2 hours.
Transfer into bowls and sprinkle with chopped jamon and egg.
This may be used as a sauce and served with fish or chicken or any fried or battered vegetables, it´s really good with fried aubergines and even better with fried jamon!
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