It’s hard to resist a recipe with such a saucy sounding name! If it conjured up visions of gypsy dancers with flashing eyes you wouldn’t be far wrong, because zarzuela (sar-soo-EH-lah) means operetta or variety show in Catalan.
Escudella (meaning bowl in Catalan) – a large stew-soup traditionally made at Christmas, a favourite cold-weather dish to warm the soul! Normally made from anything available and boiled all day. Here is one of many versions!
A traditional Catalan recipe of meatballs and olives simmered in a rich spicy sauce, often served with haricot beans, this recipe does vary from restaurant to restaurant. Here is one of several variations.
DIVIDE AND CONKER The sweet chestnut Look out for a ‘castanyada’ near you, village festival celebrating the sweet chestnut, traditionally held on the 1st November at Toussaint, but a hot treat on any cold day…
This Catalan sauce has a wonderfully complex flavour and conveniently keeps for at least a week in the fridge. It is traditionally served with Calcots, but works beautifully with simply-cooked fish, roast chicken, and even over warm new potatoes. In this instance I suggest serving it with a simple Tortilla Espanola.
The Easter Omelette, or ‘Omelette Pascale is more than just a recipe in Catalonia – it’s a whole tradition!
According to legend, Napoleon Bonaparte was travelling across southern France with his army, when he first tasted an omelette prepared for him at an inn near Bessières. He was so impressed that he had a giant omelette made for his troops the very next day. What a nice man!
Bunyetes are flat, fried ‘pancakes’ which swell in oil, become crisp, and are served dusted with granulated sugar, much like beignets or doughnuts. They are traditionally made and eaten at Easter all over Catalonia.
This Sweet Cherry & Almond Fougasse is a slightly different way to enjoy this year’s cherries. It’s perfect for picnics, wonderful with coffee, and just about any time of day really!
Look out for ‘fougasse’, the Catalan version of the Italian ‘focaccia bread’.
Traditional Calçotadas take place In February and March. Down as many of these tasty onions as your tummy will allow, dipped in sauces and usually served up with BBQ, live music, sardanes……