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GUEST POST: Eat fresh, stay fresh

August 8, 2011 – 9:00 am

POST BY AUGUST’S SPECIAL GUEST BLOGGER, KIM CAUSIER

Although summer hasn’t been the scorcher I remember it being last year – temperatures dropped at the beginning of last week – it is still a lot warmer than I am used to. Last week I pointed out some of the best ways to stay cool in the city at this time of year, but didn’t mention what dishes I enjoy eating when temperatures are high. Andalusia is renowned for its food: many UK chefs have visited the region (most recently Rick Stein), and hundreds and thousands of tourists visit year on year to sample the region’s delights.

As both the temperature, and the produce that is available in shops, changes – people in Spain still only buy the fruit and veg that is in season – so does their diet. Summer food is light and refreshing, and more importantly easy to make: nobody wants to slave over a hot stove, when it’s even hotter outside!

Here are a few easy, healthy recipes for summer dishes which you can try:

 

Every Andalucian man will swear to you that his mother’s gazpacho is the best

 

GAZPACHO

Gazpacho could be described as being cold tomato soup – doesn’t sound very appealing, but it is supremely refreshing; it is also described as liquid salad, and is packed with nutrients. Many mamas make up big batches for the hot days (every Andalucian man will swear to you that his mother’s gazpacho is the best). This recipe is taken from a friend’s mum –like with a lot of home cooking, recipes can vary from family to family and some people like to add cucumber, carrot and/or apple.

Ingredients (4 servings)

1 kg of ripe tomatoes
½ a green pepper (remove seeds)
1 small red pepper (remove seeds)
1 small piece of onion
1 garlic clove
A pinch of salt
Extra virgin olive oil
A glug of sherry vinegar
Water
You need to use powerful food processor (I write from experience!) to achieve the correct consistency.

Preparation
1. Peel and cut the tomatoes (TIP: place tomatoes in boiling water for one minute to remove the skin more easily), and add to the processor with peppers, salt, onion, vinegar and garlic.
2. Blend the ingredients until the mixture has a smooth texture. Gradually add oil until the gazpacho emulsifies.
3. Add cold water and mix well. Make sure all remainders of pepper skin are removed by passing the mixture through a sieve.
4. Add more water if necessary; it needs to have a thick but liquid consistency.
5. Put the mixture in the fridge and add a drizzle of olive oil before serving.

 

Hailing from Córdoba, Salmorejo is similar to gazpacho, but smoother and creamier

 

SALMOREJO CORDOBÉS

Hailing from Córdoba, this dish is similar to gazpacho, but smoother and creamier, since it contains bread. Not only can salmorejo be served alone, but it can be an accompaniment, such as berenjenas con salmorejo (fried aubergines with salmorejo). It is usually garnished with chopped boiled egg and jamon.

Ingredients (4 servings)

1 kg of ripe tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
100g of bread (damp)
150g of garlic

Use a powerful food processor, for the reasons mentioned above.

Garnish
2 hard boiled eggs
100g jamón

Preparation
1. Peel and cut tomatoes (as above).
2. Blend garlic and tomatoes. Add vinegar and bread and continue to blend until the mixture is a smooth consistency.
3. Gradually add olive oil until the mixture emulsifies.
4. Put the mixture in the fridge to cool and serve with garnish – chop the boiled egg and jamón into small pieces and sprinkle over the salmorejo.

SALPICÓN DE MARISCO

A very simple and colourful salad served in many bars throughout the year, but ideal in summer, with its refreshing combination of vegetable and fish ingredients.
¼ kg boiled hake
¾ kg mixed seafood (mussels, prawns, squid)
½ green pepper
½ red pepper
1 small onion
2 (salad) tomatoes
olive oil
vinegar
salt

Preparation
1. Cook the seafood mix, peel it and put it to one side.
2. Chop the onion, peppers and tomatoes into small pieces and place in a bowl
3. Clean the hake and chop into small pieces and place in the bowl with the other chopped ingredients.
4. Mix the ingredients together. Season and dress with vinegar and olive oil.

GRANIZADO DE SANDIA

Who said that slush puppies are just for kids? Melons are abundant during these hotter months and are much juicier than I ever remember munching on at home.

Ingredients
1 watermelon
Lemon juice
2 dessert spoons of sugar

1. Remove pips from watermelon and cut into small pieces
2. Blend with lemon juice and sugar.
3. Put mixture in a contained and put it in the freezer for around 2 hours.
4. For kids, freeze in ice-cream moulds to make healthy fruit ice lollies.

Kim Causier lives in Seville, where she is currently working as an in-house translator. Like many expats, she has a passion for Andalusia’s language, food and culture, and enjoys writing about her experiences on her blog, Becoming Sevillana.

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