Pipirrana: the Spanish salad that is always on my grandmother’s table
These summer days I am feeling a bit homesick. Around this time of the year I used to be buzzing because I would be just two weeks away of visiting my family in Jaen. Yet today, it represents an exciting moment as I have never been close to my grandparents-they live down in the south whilst I used to spend most of my days in Barcelona. Therefore, I treasure every single minute. I was there last time in 2018 so, hopefully, the pandemic will ease even more and let me go again.
Some of my memories down in Jaen are tied to the food I eat. In summer, with temperatures insanely spiking like never before in the year, my grandmother Rosa always puts a salad on her table that makes us all feel more refreshed. It is known by the funny name of Pipirrana, whose origin still remains unknown. At first sight, you may think it is a half-way gazpacho because the only difference is that the ingredients are not ground with a hand blender. However, this is a gastronomic hallmark of the Jaen region. Bars and restaurants include it as a tapa or starter and changes as you move from one town to another-some add egg and tinned fish to the original recipe. What never changes is pouring a generous amount of olive oil. Without this, there is no pipirrana at all.
I made my grandmother’s recipe with a little tweak: the boiled egg. She also adds some very good local olives, but it works fine with just regular, pitted ones. Let me also tell you that you are totally free to increase or reduce any amount on the ingredients. I am not posting this time any step-by-step pictures because the recipe is not complex whatsoever. All you need to see as a reference is the above photograph. I hope you still find it useful.
INGREDIENTS (SERVES 4)
Small onion (half)
Green pepper (1)
Cucumber (100 g)
Boiled eggs (2)
Green olives (a handful)
DIRECTIONS FOR COOKING
Start by boiling the eggs. After 10-15 minutes, put them in another recipient with cold water and chill for 3-4 minutes. By this way, you will peel them a lot easier.
Chop all the vegetables very finely and add them into a salad bowl. Do the same with the eggs. Season with the olive oil, vinegar and salt and stir.
Store in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving so it’s really refreshing.