The tomatoes in our garden keep growing, so I need to find recipes to use all these tomatoes 🙂 not a problem, let’s be clear 😀 usually I’m doing a good sauce for the pasta, or for example the Gazpacho.
But I wanted something else and I remembered of another Spanish recipe that I saw long ago, and today I decided to make it. I’m talking about the Salmorejo, and more precisely the Salmorejo Cordobés (the Salmorejo of Canary Islands it’s another thing, also known as Salmis; and also the Salmorejo in Malaga it’s completely different, also known as Ensalada Malagueña).
At a very first sight it could remind the Gazpacho, but it’s different: first of all it’s thicker because more bread it’s used, there are only tomatoes and no other vegetables are used.
As the name suggests it’s an old traditional recipe from Cordoba. Originally it was white (blanco) because tomatoes arrived only after the America was discovered, but only from the beginning of the 20th century the tomato became absolutely the main ingredient of the recipe. Moreover, in the past the recipe was made with mortar and pestle, but nowadays almost everyone use the electric blender, so also the texture has changed.
There are discussions about the use of the vinegar: someone use it (usually Sherry vinegar) and someone don’t, and the more “purists” they absolutely don’t want to hear about it. Probably the answer it’s up to everyone’s taste. I didn’t use it, with good tomatoes I think it’s perfect without vinegar, moreover tomatoes have already acidity and I don’t see any reason to add more acidity.
The salmorejo it’s usually being served topped with crumbled boiled egg and with thinly sliced ham (called virutas de jamòn), usually Jamòn Serrano. Or less often it’s garnished with picatostes, slices of fried bread. But without the usual toppings it’s a recipe good also for vegans/vegetarians.
As obvious in front of such simple and traditionally poor ingredients, it’s possible to find other similar dishes in the rest of Spain, and also in Italy (more precisely in Tuscany) we have a traditional recipe based on the same ingredients: the Pappa al Pomodoro.
Bread: it’s to prefer a couple of days old bread (but it depends, for example a good sourdough bread can be still quite soft and almost fresh even 5-6 days later). In Cordoba traditionally they use the Telera cordobesa, a typical white bread with a thin crust and a very soft interior. But it will be fine also with other types of bread, for example in this case I had at home a good sourdough spelt bread and the result was very good.
Let’s see how to make it now! 🙂
INGREDIENTS (4-5 people):
- 1 kg of ripe tomatoes, the more red they are the better it is, in terms of taste and color
- 150-200 g of old bread (as explained above)
- 150 ml of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic
- First of all wash the tomatoes, then cut them in big pieces and reduce in a cream by using an electric blender. Then take a strainer with thin holes and filter the tomato cream, in this way you can easily remove the seeds and the peels.
- Cut the stale bread into cubes and put it in the filtered tomato cream, and let it rest for 20-30 minutes, so it will get softer (some people remove the crust, some people don’t; I didn’t remove it and there was no problem to obtain a smooth cream).
- Then add the garlic and the salt (at your taste), and mix again everything with the blender (I used an immersion blender directly in the bowl).
- Then add slowly the extra virgin olive oil and keep blending. For this last step I moved everything in a blender (a.k.a. liquidiser), and I added gradually the oil from the hole on the top, and I let it work for 2 minutes long, until the oil was well emulsified and the cream nicely smooth and velvety.
- Now the salmorejo is ready: put it in a bowl and let it get cool in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
- Serve it with crumbled boiled egg and thinly sliced cured ham (Jamòn Serrano if you have, in this case I used a Dalmatian ham). And an extra drizzle of extra virgin olive oil if you would like.
- Enjoy! It’s a very refreshing dish 🙂