I’m really getting into this cooking thing. Trying out recipes and different Spanish dishes has become another way to pass the time and relive some past trips and experiences. I am realizing more and more how connected my traveling is to food and today’s Salmorejo affair really took me back.
Córdoba is one of my favorite cities to visit in Spain and on my first visit that I was introduced to Salmorejo, a cousin of the Gazpacho dish you might be more familiar with. After taking the long train (10 hours) from Barcelona, the first meal I had was a plate of Salmorejo, Ox Tail, Fried Eggplant with honey, and Flamenquín. (There were two of us eating). Of all of those incredible dishes, it was the Salmorejo that sucked me in, and would not be the last one I had in my 4-day stay.
The next day I took a tour around the historic center of Córdoba to get a better idea of the history of such an important city in Spain. While Sevilla and Granada tend to garner the majority of the attention in Andalucía, Córdoba was the center of Muslim dominated Spain in the 8th century under the Umayyad dynasty and would remain so until the downfall in the early 11th century as Al-Andalus (Muslim Spain) turned to smaller ‘taifas‘ or tribes. Its mosque, the Mezquita de Córdoba, is one of the most impressive buildings I have ever seen as it was built over centuries before the Christians decided to just plop down a cathedral right in the middle.
Along the tour we made a stop in a small alley near the Alcazar to talk about Córdoba’s special dish. The stop was to talk all about Salmorejo, infact the street was even named after the city’s specialty! What was even more interesting was that along with the name, “Calleja del Salmorejo Cordobés” was the recipe of how to make it, ingredients and all. It is a really simple recipe that anyone (even me) can do at home, but its one of those dishes that just doesn’t taste the same if you’re not in Córdoba. The store bought versions obviously don’t do it justice, and I have yet to find a restaurant in Barcelona that makes it in the same way. If you have had Gazpacho, it is very similar but much creamier and thicker because of the bread.
For a special Easter Sunday, I decided to take a trip down south and make my own Salmorejo Cordobés and was so happy with the outcome, it almost felt like I was there.
What do you need to make your own Salmorejo?
1kg of tomatoes or canned diced tomatoes
200g of Bread (this is what is going to give the Salmorejo its texture, use more or less)
1 Garlic Clove
1 or 2 Eggs
100g. Olive Oil
You will need a blender
1. You will need hard boiled eggs. I had these prepared the day before. You want them cool for the time of serving. If not, boil water and leave the eggs for 12 minutes.
2. Put the tomatoes into a bowl. I used canned tomatoes that were already diced up. If you want to use natural tomatoes you will need to drain the juice to get rid of the seeds.
3. Cut the bread and add to the bowl, mixing the bread into the tomato so it can soak up the flavor and become moist. Add salt at this stage. Let that sit for around 8-10 minutes.
4. Put mix into the blender and blend while adding a bit of olive oil periodically until you notice a texture change and a color change. It should start to look more orange as you go. You will also start to notice a pastier texture, this is good to hold the egg and ham a top at the end.
5. Pour the Salmorejo out into a bowl to place in the refrigerator until you are ready to eat.
6. Heat up the ham chunks in a pan on the stove (let them cool down before adding them to the Salmorejo) and cut the hard-boiled eggs into slices to add to the top of the Salmorejo with a bit of extra olive oil.
This is an incredibly easy recipe to make at home and one that will fill you up. You can eat it just as you would a spoon or dip bread inside (what I would strongly recommend).