I promised myself to use my kitchen library more often. I did it when I started to mark with red stickers all the spines of the books I have never cooked from. I was appalled by the result and decided to act immediately, especially since another two recently ordered items were on their way… I love reading cookery books, leafing through them (even those which don’t have illustrations), dreaming with them (those without photos are excellent here), but somehow rarely open them in my kitchen.
The other day, desperate to use up a couple of dying, wilted red peppers I forced myself to keep away from the computer and turn to my book shelves instead. I remembered vaguely something interesting in a Spanish cookery book I haven’t opened for ages and I was right. A cute little book called simply Cocina Española (a Spanish edition of “Spanish” by Parragon books, no author), brought by my friend as a gift from Spain, proved to contain a salad I was able to prepare without even going out shopping. I couldn’t ask more for lunch on a hot sunny day: the salad was quick, easy, comforting and incredibly Mediterranean. In short the epitome of a casual Spanish dish.
This salad (not the first recipe from this concise but surprisingly practical book) not only convinced me that I should cook Spanish more often, but most of all, proved once more that my cooking library if full of treasures I should profit from. It has also reminded me how much I adore anchovies and how delightful they are paired with eggs. Accidentally, it’s the first Spanish recipe I have posted on my blog and I was very glad to add a new “country” category.
I have slightly adapted the original recipe to make it a dish for one. I have also changed the proportions and replaced black olives with vinegared capers to add a fresh, acid accent. (I’m sorry for the messy presentation, but I was really hungry!).
Preparation: 30 minutes
Ingredients (serves one as the main course or two as a starter):
2 hard boiled eggs
2 big sweet red peppers (long or bell peppers)
6 -8 canned anchovy fillets (drained)
3 tablespoons drained capers (I used vinegared capers) or 6- 8 black olives
1 tablespoon jerez (sherry) vinegar
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
Combine the olive oil, the vinegar, season with salt and pepper.
Cut the peppers in two and place, skin side up, under the oven grill or keep them over the flame until the skin becomes black.
Put them into a plastic bag, close it and wait until they cool down.
Peel them with your fingers, remove the seeds and white parts.
Wash the peppers and slice them.
Cut the eggs into quarters.
Put all the salad ingredients in a bowl.
Pour the sauce over them and serve with bread.