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Italy vrs Spain …on a plate!

Losing an Euro Championship final match to Spain was not an easy thing to digest for Italy, a country with a great football (soccer) tradition. However, this is as far as football I am going to get since I rather write about the one thing Italians and Spaniards can agree on and are proud of …and that is: their culinary tradition.

Last week we had some friends for dinner so I wanted to come up with an appetizer using a recipe from Andalucía, a Southern Region of Spain, Salmorejo, which is a cold soup similar to Gazpacho with the difference that Salmorejo is creamer because it has bread on it. The traditional recipe – named Salmorejo Cordobés because it comes from the city of Córdoba –  is topped with hard boiled eggs and Jamón Ibérico (dry-cured Spanish ham).

Since I live in Italy, my version included Prosciutto di Parma (Parma Ham) and Mozzarella di Bufala Campana instead. So there you have Italy and Spain on a dish!

So to prepare Salmorejo you’ll need:

  • About 200-250 grs of 2-day old country style bread without the crust. The quality of bread has to have a good solid consistency;
  • About 1 kilo of ripe tomatoes. I used sweet plum tomatoes which are great for this recipe.
  • About 200 ml olive oil. If you want a more velvety consistency, you’ll need to add more oil.
  • 1 garlic clove. If you are not keen on garlic, you can use half a clove.
  • About 2 tablespoons of vinegar. You can omit vinegar if you wish but if tomatoes are sweet, its acidity adds a good contrast to the final taste.
  • Salt to taste (I suggest to add salt at the end because bread has already salt on it!)
  • Some water

Method

  1. Cut bread into pieces and soak it in water for about 10 minutes
  2. Peel, core and dice tomatoes. If you prefer, you can use a food mill (mouli) to get the pulp without the seeds and skin. Another method is to put tomatoes on a blender and pass them through a strainer for a smother consistency.
  3. Add tomatoes, olive oil and chopped garlic to the bread and blend well with a blender of processor.
  4. Add more olive oil if necessary to get a creamier consistency.
  5. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until well chilled

You can either serve Salmorejo as a soup or as a dipping sauce to create an array of creative and tasty appetizers. It is a very versatile, fun dish and perfect for hot summer days.

On this plate I arranged three tapas. From left to right: 1. A ball of Mozzarella di Bufala Campana stuffed with bottarga di muggine (dry grey mullet roe), and topped with lemon zest. 2. Smoked tuna topped with avocado and chives. 3. Quail egg wrapped with smoked salmon and parsley (or dill if you prefer).

This is another tapa: my interpretation of Salmorejo Cordobés but using quail eggs and Prosciutto di Parma.

Buon Appetito / Buen Provecho!

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23 Comments Post a comment
  1. Fabulous set of ideas. I love salmorejo but what caught my eye was the trio of appetisers – buffalo mozzarella with botarga is such a wonderful idea as is the use of smoked tuna. Good to see you writing such good stuff and the pics vibrate:)

    July 9, 2012
  2. Thank you Roger!! I am glad I am back after a long break! The mozzarella with bottarga is a great combo and the lemon zest adds a gret kick to it!!

    July 9, 2012
  3. Maria Vogelsang #

    Que rico se ve ! Ummm mozarella di bufala te cuento que hay un Italiano que le esta haciendo fresca en tegucigalpa .

    July 9, 2012
  4. Jasline #

    Beautiful photos and amazing fusion of food!

    July 9, 2012
    • Thank you Jasline!!! I love to experiment with food a lot!

      July 9, 2012
  5. LILIANA KAFIE #

    Great combination with the fish and mozzarella, Gisi!!! Lastima que no podemos conseguir aqui el mullet roe!

    July 9, 2012
    • Si la verdad es que es difícil pero en vez puede usar caviar!

      July 9, 2012
  6. Salmorejo – ¡mi favorito! And what a great idea to put it with mozzarella and prosciutto….it all looks so beautiful too. Welcome back!

    July 9, 2012
    • Thank you Tania!! Salmorejo has practically become our Summer “dish”!!

      July 10, 2012
  7. Well, Ambrosiana, you may have been away for a spell but you certainly haven’t lost your flair in the kitchen nor your skill working a camera. Salmorejo is new to me but it sounds delicious and your photos couldn’t make it more appealing. This post was a real pleasure to read.

    July 9, 2012
    • Thank you John! It’s been quite a while since I have written a post (I have lost practice!) so I am happy you liked it!

      July 10, 2012
  8. Haydee #

    Gisi: Estamos muy contentas de que hayas vuelto a tu blog. El plato se ve delicioso. Lastima que aqui no se puede conseguir todo. Sigue adelante y estaremos pendientes siempre.
    Haydee y Chichi

    July 9, 2012
    • Mil gracias!! Aunque no pueda conseguir todo ahi, hay muchos otros ingredientes que puede combinar con el Salomorejo!

      July 10, 2012
  9. So happy to have you back sharing your wonderful recipes and gorgeous plating ideas. Just beautiful.

    July 10, 2012
  10. Thank you Karen! You are very sweet! I am glad to be back!

    July 10, 2012
  11. It all looks amazing – a great return to posting….but how do you find the time to create beautiful food like that?!

    July 10, 2012
    • Thank you! I think is my passion for food and the fact that I constantly read food magazines and watch food networks. I learn a lot from chefs and cooks and then it all comes naturally.

      July 11, 2012
  12. What a great and tasty idea!

    July 11, 2012
  13. I would have really loved to be one of your guests
    stunning pictures and mouth watering ideas

    July 12, 2012
  14. Thank you Swasan! I would also love to be one of your guests!! You have amazing recipes and your pictures are also stunning!!

    July 15, 2012
  15. WOW! It looks so appetizing! And I personally think the main star of the show would be the hard boiled eggs; great complement to the sauce and ham

    October 24, 2012

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