Those travelling to the beautiful Andalusian region of Spain can experience one of the best representations of the Mediterranean diet, with recipes combining tradition and modernity. A diversity of cultures in the area means the local cuisine is incredibly varied with Arab and Mediterranean influences, resulting in delicious, simple and flavoursome dishes, using basic but versatile ingredients.
Nutritious ingredients such as butter beans and chickpeas form the basis of many dishes. Other popular ingredients that are heavily used are fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes and oranges. Covering such a vast area in Spain, spanning across Seville, Granada and Malaga, visitors are spoilt for choice with local markets.
If you have visited the region you will have, no doubt, enjoyed some of the delicious fare on offer and it’s easy to think that you’ll have to wait for another trip before you can taste these delights again. Think again, as Villa Plus, the leading provider of villa holidays in Andalucia, has sought out some family recipes sourced from the heart of this Spanish region, from local people themselves. Rachel Flanagan, the Andalucia travel expert at Villa Plus, has done the hard work for you and provides us with her favourite Andalusian dishes to cook up at home this year.
Andalusian Gazpacho (Vegan)
⦁ 1kg tomatoes
⦁ 1 green pepper
⦁ 1 cucumber
⦁ 2 cloves of garlic
⦁ 50ml extra virgin olive oil
⦁ 50g of dry bread
⦁ 250ml of water
⦁ 5g of salt
⦁ 30ml of Vinagre de Jerez (special vinegar from this region readily available in supermarkets
This soup recipe is very common and really refreshing in summer, served cold and you can use that day old baguette that has gone dry too!
Just liquidize the chopped ingredients without peeling, then pass through a mesh sieve and chill for about 4 hours. It will last for a couple of days in the fridge. It can either be served as a drink to have with a meal, as a starter, or a light lunch.
Carne Con Tomate (slow cooked pork/beef in tomato sauce)
⦁ 1.5kg of pork or beef in cubes
⦁ 3 cloves of garlic
⦁ 2 onions, chopped
⦁ 2 bay leaves
⦁ 1/2 glass (small water glass of vino de jerez/montilla, available in all supermarkets)
⦁ 1/2 glass of extra virgin olive oil
⦁ 1 glass of puréed tomato (known as tomate tamizado in supermarkets)
⦁ Salt and pepper to taste
Seal the meat in the pan for 10 minutes and then add the chopped onion and garlic and fry for another 10 minutes.
Add the wine, tomato, and bay leaves and leave to slow cook for at least an hour (pork usually takes a little longer), adding water if it starts to dry out.
Finally add salt and pepper to taste and serve with crusty bread or Spanish omelette!
Broad Beans with Serrano ham
⦁ 225 grams of fresh broad beans
⦁ 1-2 slices of medium thick Serrano ham, chopped
⦁ 1 onion, finely chopped
⦁ 2 tablespoons of olive oil
⦁ Fresh parsley, finely chopped
⦁ Salt and pepper
⦁ Crusty bread to serve
Boil the beans in a large saucepan of salted water, and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until tender.
Drain them and quickly run under cold water to prevent them from cooking further. Peel off the outer skins where possible.
Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan over a medium high heat. Add the onion and fry for around 5 minutes, until they are soft but not brown. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan over a medium high heat. Add the onion and fry for about 5 minutes, until soft but not brown. Add the beans, and stir in chopped ham. Remember the ham is salty, so refrain from adding salt until you’ve tasted it, to see if more is required.
Transfer to a serving bowl and drizzle with the remaining oil. Serve at room temperature with some chunky bread.”
Easy Spanish Omelette (Tortilla)
This recipe is a base and additional ingredients and flavours can be added – for example; chorizo, ham, cheese or herbs.
⦁ 300ml of olive oil
⦁ 1 medium onion, finely sliced
⦁ 600g potatoes, peeled, halved and cut into thin slices
⦁ 6 medium eggs, beaten
⦁ Salt and pepper
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and cook until soft. Add the potato to the pan, and cook until tender. Next, add the cooked potato and onion to the beaten eggs and season.
Heat another pan with olive oil. Add the egg mixture and cook until it looks almost set. The egg mixture should almost fill the pan and should come away from the sides as it cooks.
Place a plate or saucepan lid over the pan, and flip the tortilla on to the plate. Slip the tortilla back into the pan, and cook the other side for a further 5 minutes, or until cooked right through (depending on how cooked you like your eggs).
Serve either hot or cold, with a salad garnish and crusty bread.
Andalusian Spinach and Chickpeas
⦁ 170 grams dried chickpeas (see note)
⦁ 20 grams butter
⦁ 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
⦁ 800 grams (about 2 bunches) spinach
⦁ 1½ tbsp sweet Spanish paprika
⦁ 1 tbsp freshly ground dry-roasted cumin seeds
⦁ Extra-virgin olive oil and crusty bread to serve
⦁ 2 thick slices of day-old bread
Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the bread, and cook until golden. Transfer the bread and garlic to paper towels.
Once cooled, tear the bread into small pieces and remove the skins from the garlic. Pound the bread with a pestle and mortar (or, just a rolling pin in a bowl if easier!), until the breadcrumbs are large but uneven. Add about 50 grams of the chickpeas and around 60ml of the leftover liquid from the tin. Pound again until it’s the consistency of mashed potato.
Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the remaining chopped garlic, stirring until light golden, then add in the spinach and stir until wilted. Turn up the heat and add 400ml of water. Stir occasionally and crush a few of the chickpeas into the spinach until fully heated through. Reduce the heat and simmer slowly until thick and creamy, then stir in a splash of sherry vinegar to cut through the creaminess. Drizzle with oil and serve with bread.