Magazine article Sunset

Spanish Salads

Magazine article Sunset

Spanish Salads

Article excerpt

Robust flavors characterize these fish and vegetable salads from Catalonia, a region in northeastern Spain. Dressings are

equally pungent: vinaigrettes feature balsamic, sherry, or wine vinegars; the purse combines anchovies and avocados; and the classic romesco sauce has almonds, red bell peppers, and garlic.

Like anchovies, the tuna and cod used in the two main-dish salads have bold flavors. Flanked by the lighter salads, they create a substantial buffet when accompanied with bread and butter and a crisp, dry white wine-perhaps a Spanish Parellada or a domestic Sauvignon Blanc.

Also consider the lighter salads as companions to other menus.

Catalan Tuna Salad

2 heads (about 6 oz. each) butter

lettuce, leaves rinsed and

crisped

2 cans (6 1/2 oz. each) albacore tuna,

drained

1 cup shredded carrots

1 cup cucumber, cut into 2-inch-long,

1/4-inch-wide slivers

1 can (2 oz.) anchovy fillets, drained

and minced

3/4 cup nicoise olives

4 large firm-ripe Roma-style

tomatoes, cored and thinly sliced

crosswise

4 large hard-cooked eggs, peeled

and halved

Romesco sauce (recipe follows)

Pepper

Line a platter with lettuce. In a bowl, break tuna into chunks, then gently mix with carrots, cucumber, anchovies, and olives; mound on lettuce. Arrange tomatoes and eggs alongside. Offer romesco sauce in a bowl and pepper to add to taste. Makes 4 to 6 main-dish servings.-Marimar Torres, Sausalito, Calif

Romesco sauce. Place 1/2 cup almonds in an 8- or 9-inch-wide pan.

Bake in a 350 degree oven until nuts are golden in center (break to test), about 15 minutes, Let cool, then finely grind in a food processor or blender.

To container, add 1 medium-size red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and coarsely chopped; 1/4 teaspoon crushed dried hot red chilies; 1/2 teaspoon paprika; 1 small clove garlic, coarsely chopped; 1 tablespoon parsley leaves; and 1/4 cup red wine vinegar; whirl until smooth. With motor running, add 1/4 cup olive oil in a thin stream.

Avocado and Tomato Salad

2 medium-size firm-ripe avocados

2 medium-size firm-ripe tomatoes,

cored, each cut into 6 equal

wedges

12 large fresh basil leaves

1 can (2 oz. …

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