Seasonal Spanish Food by Jose Pizarro (Kyle Cathie, 2009) is a 2010 IACP Cookbook awards finalist in the First Book: The Julia Child Award category. For a list of all the finalists check out the Project Foodie IACP Finalists' Guide.
Seasonal Spanish Food combines London chef Jose Pizarro's love of his homeland's cuisine with the bounty of the seasons. Throughout, Pizarro introduces new ways to combine ingredients to create Spanish flavors.
Before exploring Seasonal Spanish Food I didn't have a strong sense of what exactly Spanish cuisine meant. While I expected to see plenty of paprika I was surprised by how many dishes included eggs (always a good thing if you ask me). And as the title implies, Pizaro presents everything with a seasonal organization using fresh ingredients.
I picked the Green Bean Salad to share because it highlights how Pizarro mixes common flavors with the unexpected to create a Spanish dish - a theme you'll find throughout Seasonal Spanish Food.
Green Bean Salad with Anchovies
From Seasonal Spanish Food by Jose Pizarro (Kyle Cathie, 2009)
This salad is similar to France's salade niçoise-but I've given it my own Spanish twist by omitting the tuna and not mixing up the ingredients too much.
- 4 large free-range eggs, at room temperature
- 7oz fresh green beans
- 12 anchovy fillets in olive oil
- 3½ tablespoons salted capers, rinsed
- 20 Kalamata black olives, pitted
- 16 cherry tomatoes
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Cabernet red wine vinegar
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring a saucepan of water to a vigorous boil. Add 1 teaspoon of salt, then lower the eggs into the pan and boil for 6 minutes: you want eggs with a runny yolk but firm white. Carefully remove the eggs from the boiling water and immediately plunge them into iced water. This stops the eggs from cooking and makes them easy to peel.
Next, in another saucepan of fresh, boiling water, simmer the beans for 3 minutes, so that they are cooked but retain some crunch. Drain and refresh the beans under running cold water.
Place the anchovies, capers, olives, and tomatoes in a bowl, give it a good stir, and set aside.
Make the vinaigrette by whisking the oil and vinegar together, then pour it all over the salad. Season to taste with salt and pepper, but be careful with the salt; there are quite a few salty ingredients already in the salad.
Divide the salad between four plates or place on one serving dish. Cut the boiled eggs in half and place sunny-side up on top of the salad.
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