Recipes,  Salads,  Vegetarian

Zorongollo extremeño: imagine not finding peppers in your groceries store

Hola a todos!

I am feeling thoughtful today and I would like to share my thoughts with you.

It is not a secret the UK relies so much on EU imports to stock up their food supermarkets shelves. Earlier in December, at the doors of Brexit coming into effect, the BBC published a story featuring some interesting figures. The most interesting fact is that “nearly half of the fresh vegetables and the majority of the fruit comes from EU countries”. From here, we find that the country gets in January the 85 per cent of the tomatoes from the Continent; that almost one in five pieces of fresh fruit come from Spain every year; and that half of British food is imported during the winter months. The story is definitively worth a read and I really suggest you do it.

An array of reasons make possible that we can find all this food just steps away from us. Thanks to the improved communications between countries, international cooperation or technological innovation, Britain can level the balance against its difficult climate conditions for certain agricultural activities. Now think for a second about not having reached a trade deal following Brexit: what could you buy today from your groceries store if that had happened?

It could have ruined us in this aspect. Food shortages could lead to poor eating habits and, consequently, could damage our health condition. We see this among those families who can barely afford a decent basket and depend on food banks-a real concern in developed countries, by the way. Then, can you imagine an entire nation not having access to a wider range of food because it simply cannot be supplied? Scary, isn’t it? Although no politician is so irresponsible to let this ever happen, we’ve been close to suffer a tremendous calamity-and we´re all aware of it!

In that scenario, most likely I wouldn’t have been able to post today’s recipe. Zorongollo is a traditional salad from Extremadura (southern Spain) made with peppers and tomatoes, two produces that are not usually harvested in British soil. It’s very similar to Catalan escalivada (which I expect to feature here at some point) and cannot taste better. It requires minimum effort and comes together very quickly. I am a natural pepper lover, but I had never tried this dish before. Now it will stay forever on my salad rotation and will also cook it for lunch at work every now and then.

For this, I have found inspiration in Sabor de Extremadura website which such a Bible in terms of their regional food. If you are short of time, and still want to eat it, you can use jarred roasted peppers. However, it won’t taste the same unless they are absolutely very good so I recommend you to use fresh ingredients where possible.


INGREDIENTS

  • Large red peppers (3)
  • Tomatoes (2 small / 1 large)
  • Eggs (2)
  • Onion (1)
  • Garlic clove (1)
  • Olive oil
  • Vinegar
  • Salt

DIRECTIONS FOR COOKING

  1. Line up in an oven tray the peppers and the tomatoes. Grease them slightly with olive oil and roast at 200 Celsius for 20-25 minutes. Turn occasionally so all sides cook evenly.

2. In the meantime, boil the eggs for 10-12 minutes. Cool in cold water afterwards.

3. Once the vegetables are roasted set them aside for cooling. You should be able to peel them now. Start with the tomatoes: put them in a blender beaker after removing the skin, add the garlic clove and grind until they turn into a puree. Then, pour in a bowl.

4. Peel the peppers and cut them as your own convenience. You can do it in sticks, but I just chopped them and were still ok. Add them into the bowl with the tomato and garlic puree.

5. Chop the eggs, finely cut the onion and drop both into the bowl. Drizzle with abundant olive oil, vinegar, salt and toss all together.

6. Cover the bowl with cling film and store in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving.

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