Based in Toronto, Ontario, Nancy Matsumoto is a writer and editor who covers sustainable agriculture, food, sake, arts and culture.

Archival posts from my former blog, Walking and Talking

In Andalusia, On the Hunt for Salmorejo

I'm in Andalusia, Spain now, soaking in some much-needed sun and discovering the joys of salmorejo. It's a delicious local version of gazpacho, the color of a Creamsicle and blended smooth and thick as a good milkshake. This dish is savory, though, made with very ripe tomatoes, bread, extra-virgin olive oil, Jerez sherry vinegar, and garlic.

Originally from Cordoba, salmorejo appears on menus across Andalusia. I've loved each version of this cold, refreshing soup that I've tried. At one charming patio restaurant in the old Jewish quarter of Seville, our waitress came by to sprinkle the top of our salmorejo with chopped onions, tomatoes and red peppers.


The San Fernando restaurant at the Hotel Alfonso XIII in Seville makes this classic version, which comes topped with hard boiled egg, the yolks and whites separated into neat opposing quadrants, along with chopped tomatoes and black olives. Finishing the dish are shards of crispy cured and dried Iberico ham.

San Fernando sommelier Gregory Bossuyt notes that sometimes salmorejo comes topped with pieces of dried tuna instead of ham, or for vegetarians, with diced red and yellow peppers and cucumber.

At the Marbella Club Hotel in Marbella, the salmorejo was
 lighter in texture and heavier on the vinegar.

Chef Jorge Manfredi's take on the salmorejo
 at DMercao, Seville.  

The most adventurous and unusual salmorejo that I tried was at the tapas restaurant DMercao, where Chef Jorge Manfredi liberally mixes Japanese techniques and ingredients with classic Andalusian products. The first course of a highly inventive tasting menu we tried was a orange salmorejo, garnished with an umami-bomb of a tuna confit cigarillo.

Manfredi says that this dish is a version of a salmorejo that won him third place in the Jornadas Gastronomicas de la Naranja, a competition that began as a way to encourage local chefs to use the ubiquitous bitter Seville orange that now hang heavy on trees throughout the city. Most of them end up as exports to England, where they will be boiled into submission and turned into the Seville orange marmalade so beloved there.

His prize-winning orange salmorejo, Manfredi, says, was made with the juice of the Seville orange and topped with flaked bacalao (dried salt cod) and frizzled leeks.

Chef Manfredi was kind enough to share his recipe for the salmorejo he made for us. If you make it at home, try pairing it, as Manfredi does, with a pale and delicate Manzanilla sherry. You'll have the makings of your own Andalusian experience.

Orange Salmorejo with Tuna Kikkoman

For the salmorejo:

1 liter fresh-squeezed orange juice
300 grams of white bread
1 clove garlic
a bit of water
Salt and sugar to taste

For the Tuna Confit Kikkoman:

130 grams fresh tuna, vacuum sealed cooked at 140 degrees fahrenheit for 30 minutes
Store-bought spring roll or won ton wrapper
Carrot
Leek
Kikkoman soy sauce
1 egg, beaten

Preparation:

For the salmorejo: combine all ingredients in a blender for six minutes. Strain and refrigerate. It should be fluffy and soft on the palate.

For the tuna: Finely chop the leek and carrot. In a bowl mix the tuna, carrot and leek. Season with soy sauce to taste. Fill and roll the won ton wrapper with tuna and roll into a baton shape. Seal with a little beaten egg. Fry in 338-degree fahrenheit oil.

To finish: 


Fill a cocktail glass with orange salmorejo and garnish with the Kikkoman baton. 




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