In SPAIN summer can be very hot. The burning sun exhausts you and therefore you need a well-balanced proper diet.
The following recipes are among my favorites; they are both Mediterranean and very refreshing, easily digestible and contain all the necessary properties.
This is a typical recipe from Andalousia, especially from the beautiful city of CORDOBA. You can find another variety in Antequera (province of Málaga) where it is called “LA PORRA DE ANTEQUERA”. It is similar to “GAZPACHO”, that is a cold andalousian vinagre soup (that contains cucumber), but I prefer Salmorejo. According to each place you can find small variations, one of the most popular ones is the following:
Ingredients (4 persons):
• 3/4 kg. old bread
• 1/8 l. olive oil
• 1 kg. (ripe) tomatoes
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• white wine vinagre
• 2 hard boiled eggs (chopped)
• fine chopped raw ham (jamón serrano)
• fresh bread to accompany and dip the salmorejo
To make: (aprox.45 min.)
Moisten the old bread the night before. Put the rest of the ingredients (tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, salt and vinagre) together and use a blender during 2/3 minutes until it gets a homogeneous and thick cream, without getting liquid.
Leave the Salmorejo sufficient time in the fridge to serve it cool in a soup-dish, spread first the chopped boiled egg and then the ham in a decorative way over it with a jet of virgin oliveoil.
Tabouleh is a popular dish from the middle-East, extended over most arab countries including the Maghreb. I discovered Tabouleh in a Lebanese restaurant in Dubai (U.A.E.), already quite a lot of years ago. Since then I became a fan of the Lebanese (mountain) kitchen, it’s one of my favorites. Lebanese people are very charming and cheerful, very similar to Spanish people; they love to eat and party. Other highly recommended Lebanese dishes, that make part of the so-called MEZZEH (a meal with a great number of different gastronomic specialties), are the famous hummous (pureed chickpeas, sesame paste (tahini) and lemon juice), moutabal (eggplants with sesame paste and lemon juice) and dolma (wine leaves filled with rice and herbs).
Ingredients (for 4 persons):
• 1 cup dry cous-cous or bulgur wheat (in Spain f.e. one can buy "lluvia", in a less exotic package but much cheaper and it’s the same)
• 1 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
• about 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1 onion, chopped
• 2 tomatoes, chopped
• 1 small to medium sized cucumber, chopped
• 1 chopped carrot
• chopped black olives (a small blick)
• 3 spoons olive oil
• juice of 3 lemons
• a bit of butter
• 1 tsp salt, or more to taste
• freshly ground black and white pepper (I always use it 50/50 in the pepper-mill)
• alternative: you can also add a chopped fresh green pepper
To make: (aprox.45 min.)
Boil a cup of water, once it boils, add the cous-cous or bulgur, a bit of salt and a piece of butter, quit the heat, give it some turns with a spoon and leave it covered during several minutes. It must remain dry once it’s ready.
Meanwhile combine in a large bowl the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, garlic and ground black and white pepper. Put parsley and mint in a food processor until finely chopped. If you don’t have a food processor, get out your chef’s knive and have at it.
Add the cous-cous and the rest of ingredients. Tabouleh can best be served cool. The flavor will improve if you let it stand for a while.
You can eat the Tabouleh also in a pita-bread.
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