Pepper, Onion, Cucumber and Tomato Salad with Cured Tuna Loin
From Made in Spain, by José Andrés with Richard Wolffe
Reprinted from the book MADE IN SPAIN by José Andrés with Richard Wolffe. Copyright © 2008 by José Andrés with Richard Wolffe. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc. Reprinted with permission.
- Servings: 4.
This recipe is from the Anadalucia region of Spain, on the southern coast that is home to tuna fishermen who have been fishing the Mediterranean waters for centuries.
This salad is a perfect example of much of authentic Spanish cooking -- where fresh ingredients both stand on their own and also combine together to create big flavor. Make it once and it will become a favorite as it has for me; I make it often as a starter for dinner parties because it's quick to prep and light enough to follow with almost any kind of main course.
While this recipe calls for the dark and intense salt-cured tuna loin called "mojama," Chef Andrés suggest good quality anchovy fillets as a substitute. But I prefer to substitute thin slices of smoked tuna sold at several area charcuterie and fish stores, including Fairway, Zabar's, and The Lobster Place. But if you want the authentic thing, go to Despaña, a New York merchant that specializes in authentic Spanish food and ingredients.
- 3 tablespoons Spanish extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- Sea salt to taste
- 1/2 cucumber
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and minced
- 1 ripe plum tomato, seeded and minced
- 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 ounce thinly sliced mojama (Spanish salt-cured tuna loin) about 12 slices
- 1 scallion, thinly sliced
- Fresh chervil sprigs
- In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil and vinegar. Season to taste with salt and set the dressing aside.
- Peel the cucumber and, using an apple corer, remove the seeds in one piece. Cut the seed core into 1-inch pieces and set aside.
- Finely dice the remaining cucumber. Put the diced cucumber, the pepper and the plum tomato in a mixing bowl. Toss with 1 tablespoon of the dressing and season to taste with salt.
- To serve, spread spoonfuls of the minced vegetables over 4 plates. Place 4 cherry tomato halves and 4 cucumber cores on top of each serving.
- Lay the mojama slices across the tomatoes, sprinkle with scallions and chervil, and drizzle with a little more of the dressing.