Esqueixada – Spanish Smoked Fish Salad

9:00 pm on 10 July 2004

(Serves 5-6)

Ingredients

  • 1 kg smoked fish
  • 1 kg red peppers (canned in winter, fresh in summer)
  • 1 kg tomatoes (canned if fresh are unavailable)
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 30 ml sherry vinegar or a good sweetish vinegar
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped
  • 75 ml olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • optional: chopped steamed potatoes or quinces
  • for serving: chopped boiled eggs and/or black olives

Method

Shred the smoked fish into a large salad bowl.

Chargrill the peppers in summer (or use canned ones if you can’t get fresh). Cut into long, thin ribbons and add to the fish.

Peel the tomatoes by plunging them into boiling water on the end of a fork, then peeling off the skin. Alternatively, drain the canned, peeled tomatoes. Scoop out the seeds and dice the tomatoes.

Mix the tomatoes, lemon juice, vinegar, onion, garlic and parsley with the oil, salt and pepper and pour over the fish and peppers, stirring to combine. You can add chunks of potato or quinces at this point. If you are having crusty bread, skip the potatoes. Leave it for an hour or so to develop the flavour.

To serve, you may want to pack the mixture into small ramekins lined with plastic wrap so that you can invert them after an hour and have nice mounds of smoked fish salad.

Serve with chopped boiled eggs on the side and/or a small bowl of black olives. Add what you feel like eating. You may also serve it as a main or as a topping on your favourite bread or bruschetta.

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