Normally you have already decided where to go for your holidays and if Spain is your destination for this summer break, then try not to miss these dishes. Your adventurous mission would be accomplished, if the following dishes are in your agenda:
The reddest, ripest tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, bread, peppers and cucumber are blended until silky smooth, then chilled and poured into bowls or glasses. So delicious, so refreshing. In Andalucía in southern Spain, people have it every day in summer and there is always a jug on the counter in tapas bars.
Ingredients for paella Valenciana include chicken or rabbit, saffron, runner beans and butter beans. But the all-important element is the rice, ideally the bomba or calasaparra varieties grown on Spain’s east coast, which are particularly good for absorbing all the flavours.
This Spanish omelette contains eggs, potatoes, onions… that’s it
Gambas al ajillo
It is served in an earthenware dish. Gambas al ajillo is a dish of sizzling prawns, the tantalising aroma comes from fried sliced garlic and green chilli in olive oil, where prawns are thrown for a couple of minutes and some parsley is added.
Tostas de tomate y jamón
Acorns give marbled magenta Ibérico ham its distinctive nutty flavour. Rub thick pieces of toast with garlic and tomato, pour on some olive oil and top with slices of jamón
Patatas bravas vary quite a bit around the country, but all versions involve chunks of fried potato. In Madrid, bravas sauce is made with sweet and spicy pimentón – Spanish paprika – olive oil, flour and stock – but never tomatoes.
Pollo al ajillo
Unpeeled cloves of garlic are fried in olive oil to flavour it, then taken out before adding pieces of chicken. When that is cooked, the garlic goes back in with some rosemary, thyme and some dry sherry or white wine.
The meat is cooked in huge wood-fired ovens and is so tender it is cut with the side of an earthenware plate.
Onions, garlic, courgettes, peppers and tomatoes are slow fried in olive oil – this is not a dish that likes to be rushed. It is usually served as a starter, sometimes with fried eggs or chorizo, but is great as a side dish too.
Most of it is made in the small town of Jijona in the province of Alicante, in Spain using locally-grown almonds mixed with honey and egg white. There are two basic types – a soft, smooth version, called Jijona, and hard Alicante turrón, which contains pieces of almond.