As many of you, these days I am separated from my children. Every night on Whatsapp we have a family call, and we are getting more and more into memories. Yesterday we talked about a fabulous trip we did some years ago in Andalusia. It was on that occasion that I discovered and fell in love with Salmorejo.
A few years ago I went to Andalusia for Christmas with my family. It was an amazing journey, which also gave us a chance to discover Andalusian, and more generally Spanish gastronomical traditions. While my husband and sons were stuffing themselves with queso manchego, jamon serrano and grilled meat, I gave all my love and attention to Salmorejo, a dish I discovered only there and then. Of course I knew and had tried several times the famous Gazpacho, and I was (still am) surprised at how little this brother of it is known and served outside of Spain.
Compared to Gazpacho, Salmorejo is smoother, thicker, tastier. It’s a simple but healthy and fulfilling dish, whose origin are as ancient as humanity. The Spanish have always used bread wet with vinegar and savoured with different spices. That’s the basis for salmorejo, which only turned red after the tomato was introduced in Spain. Unlike in gazpacho, tomato is the sole ingredient that gives the cream its red colour.
I grew so passionate about this tasty recipe, that I asked a Spanish friend of mine to teach me how to do it. It’s an easy procedure, and ingredients are found all over the world, though it is quite important to find tasty tomatoes and use a kind of olive oil which is not too strong in taste, otherwise it will cover all the other flavours.
So this is my recipe (tested several times) and what I learned preparing the beloved dish
Ingredients for 6:
– 1,2 kgs of mature, tasty tomatoes
– 200 grs of breadcrumbs, possibly from one or two days before
– 150 mls of olive oil
– 1 garlic clove (taking out the green part inside)
– 1 boiled egg
– a slice of thick row ham (jamon serrano, if possible)
– Wash and cut the tomatoes in pieces, perfectly cleaning them
– Pass them in the mixer, then filter them to get rid of all skin and rough parts
– Add the breadcrumbs to the filtered sauce, and let rest for 10 minutes
– Put the tomato sauce+soaked breadcrumbs back to the mixer, add the oil, salt to taste, and mix thoroughly until it’s smooth and thick
– Put it in the fridge and let it cool.
– Before serving, add slices of the boiled egg and cubes of ham
*let the bread soak long enough. If you let it less than ten minutes, you risk to compromise the smoothness of the salmorejo;
**don’t add the whole olive oil in one go, especially if it is a strong kind. Keep a bit to add in the end if you find that the taste is not too bitter;
***don’t use more than one garlic clove, it could be heavy for those who do not digest garlic easily.