Pimiento de piqulllo con crema de queso y mojo verde
(Piquillo pepper stuffed with goat’s curd mixed herbs and mojo verde)
These are really quick and colourful: great for summer parties and picnics. Josep, our executive chef, who came up with the combination, uses goat’s curd from La Bauma, but you could substitute cream cheese or cottage cheese.
Sardinas fritas con pipirrana
(Pan-fried sardines with pipirrana)
Pipirrana is a refreshing combination of tomatoes, onions, peppers and hard-boiled eggs which balances out the stronger flavour of the pan-fried sardines very well.
Menestra de verduras often served in littles bowls in fashionable Madrid bars, but probabaly the best I have ever had was made for me by Raul Domingo, when I stayed with him and his family in the city. Raul is a history lecturer, his wife, Carmen, a photographer, lecturer and archivist, and their student daughter Livia is a jazz and classical violinist. The shelves of their home groan with incredible books and the walls are covered in extraordinary paintings, and when it comes to food, Raul is in charge of the kitchen and his cooking is excellent. While I was writing up recipe notes he brought me a Madrid tapa of fine crisps and escabeche mussels (see page 111) and then a little bowlful of this light, delicious, nutritious menestra.