Recently Madrid Food Tour helped organize a Tapas Workshop for 20 attendees of a big conference taking place in the city. With the collaboration of the famous local chef Rosa Tovar and wine expert/sommelier Raul Calle, we put on a really fun event for a group of people from all around the world.
I was lucky to be in charge of translating the workshop’s recipes, and they all sounded delicious. But one recipe stood out from the start. Rosa’s orange and red pepper salad took me back to Andalusia without even tasting it. I could just imagine the bright orange slices, colorful red peppers, olives, and quail eggs would come together in harmony for the perfect winter salad (ideally enjoyed on an Andaluz terrace with some flamenco music playing in the background).
Why a winter salad? Well, here in Spain, oranges are a winter fruit. The best and juiciest Valencia oranges (the ones actually from Valencia, Spain) come into season at the beginning of December, giving Spaniards across the country a healthy dose of vitamin C throughout the cold winter season. Olives are also a winter fruit, although available year round.
When we finally made the salad in the workshop, my initial hypothesis was confirmed, it was one of the most delicious salads I’ve ever tried (and super easy to make). Here is the recipe, vía Rosa Tovar:
Orange & Red Pepper Salad
Serves: 6-8 tapas
- 350 grams jarred piquillo peppers and their liquid
- 3 roasted garlic cloves
- Salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2-3 spring onions, finely chopped
- 3 juicy oranges, peeled and cut into sections (after peeling, use a very sharp knife and cut between the skin of each segment so there is no skin or seeds in the salad)
- 1 four-ounce can of tuna in olive oil or in escabeche, drained and broken up
- 16 hard-boiled quail eggs or 4 hard-boiled eggs, (if using large eggs cut into quarters)
- 4 ounces arbequina olives (If you can’t find these you can substitute another variety)
- Cut the peppers into thick strips, and put them in your serving dish.
- Pound the garlic, the salt, the cumin seeds and black pepper to taste in a mortar. When the cumin has been well pounded, add the olive oil and as much of the peppers’ liquid as you’d like, which will give the dressing a nice flavor.
- Sprinkle the spring onions over the peppers, add the orange segments and the tuna. Pour the dressing over the top and decorate with the hard-boiled eggs and the olives.
Easy, quick, and delicious. Every ingredient in this colorful orange and red pepper salad just works perfectly. I’d recommend using the quail eggs if you can, they are bite sized and easier to eat than a quartered chicken egg.
What is your favorite winter dish?
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