Mr. F and I spent the beginning of 2011 fulfilling our dream of travelling around Europe. We spent a lot of our time in different parts of Spain – hitting the major cities like Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia and spending a larger chunk of time in Sevilla and San Sebastian.
This time last year we had just arrived for a month-long stay in the Southern city of Sevilla in Andalucía. Not knowing much about the city or the region, our 5 weeks there were full of new discoveries.
11 (mostly food-and-drink-related) Things I Learned in Sevilla:
- Sevilla is the hottest city in Europe. Don’t go there in summer, the Old City is essentially an oven and will cook you.
- You will never regret spending money on jamón.
- Siestas are totally necessary. By 3pm, the sun is at its hottest and the only thing you will want to do is nap. Plus, everyone else is doing it.
- Sangria is for tourists. Don’t order it unless you want to drink straight sugar with a hint of cheap wine.
- Don Simon pre-made sangria is one of cheapest alcoholic beverages you can buy in a Spanish supermarket.
- Shop for food at the mercado not the supermercado.
- The tapas crawl is a spectacular invention.
- Do not buy Spanish wine that is not D.O. or D.O.C. certified. If it doesn’t have the Denominación de Origen Calificada stamp on it, it is very possible that you are drinking vinegar that may or may not get you drunk.
- City-wide bike hire systems are awesome when properly executed. (Sevilla 1, Brisbane 0.)
- I can pack a mean picnic.
- Chorizo should be involved in most things. (Technically not learned in Sevilla, but reinforced.)
Jamie Oliver, bless him, prepared this salad in an Andalucian field. I made it in my kitchen and it still turned out pretty well.
For some bonus authenticity: pronounce it choreetho like the Spaniards and Jamie do!
Tomato and Chorizo Salad
adapted just slightly from Jamie Oliver’s recipe.
– 3 cups chopped tomatoes (I used cherry)
– 1 small red onion, finely chopped
– 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
– 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, divided
– 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
– 1/4 cup basil, chopped
– salt and pepper
– 1 chorizo sausage, sliced into rounds
– 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
Combine chopped tomatoes, onion, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar, parsley, half of the basil and a bit of salt and pepper in a large bowl. Set aside.
Heat remaining olive oil in a large pan over a high heat. Add chorizo and cook, tossing occasionally until the chorizo it deeply browned and the natural, orange oils have been released. Add the garlic to the pan and toss quickly. Turn off the heat and let the garlic sizzle for about 20-30 seconds. Finish off the pan with the last tablespoon of white wine vinegar and let simmer in the pan for another minute.
With a slotted spoon, remove the chorizo and garlic from the oil and pour over the salad. Reserve oil for later use (Jamie suggests using it with some chicken.) Scatter salad with remaining basil and serve with crusty bread.
Jamie also suggests serving this with a small glass of sherry, I say a large glass of Rioja, D.O.C. of course.