|Salmorejo is gazpacho "cream."|
Salmorejo is famous in the tascas of Córdoba, where it’s usually presented in individual ramekins to be eaten with a spoon. Garnished with strips of serrano ham and chopped egg, it serves as a starter, instead of soup, instead of salad, a gazpacho place-holder. A very similar preparation in the town of Antequera (Málaga) is called porra and is a rustic country dish made in an olive-wood bowl.
|Salmorejo as a party dip.|
|Country bread thickens the cream.|
Use good country-style bread with a dense crumb as the base for salmorejo. It should be at least a day old. In fact, salmorejo is a great way to use up stale bread. It’s easier to process the bread if it’s first soaked in water to soften it. Squeeze it out really well. The finished cream should be the consistency of thick mayonnaise.
Serves 10 to 12 as a party dip or 6 as a starter.
12 ounces day-old bread, crusts removed
1 pound ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded
3 cloves garlic
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon wine vinegar
2 ounces serrano ham, cut in thin strips, to serve
2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced, to serve
Cut the bread into chunks and put in a bowl with water to cover. Let soak until softened.
Cut the peeled and seeded tomatoes into chunks and place in a food processor bowl with the garlic. Process until puréed.
Squeeze out as much water as possible from the bread. Add the bread to the processor bowl. (If necessary, process in two batches.) Process until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add the oil, salt and vinegar to make a thick cream. Chill until serving time.
If serving as a dip, spread the cream in a dish and garnish the top with strips of ham and sliced egg. As a starter, serve the cream in individual ramekins or small bowls, each garnished with ham and egg.