Our last trip to Spain took us to the Extremadura region in the west by the Portugal border where we based ourselves in its capital Mérida, in a flat opposite one of the aqueducts. If you ever want to take a photo of your offspring on a swing with a Roman aqueduct for backdrop – head for Mérida. The town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it boasts one of the most impressive collection of Roman ruins that you can see outside Italy – not to mention other sights.
Near the Temple of Diana there is a pleasant restaurant where we were served an Ensalada Sefardi – Sephardi Salad – as a free starter. The Sephardi Jews lived in Spain until the end of the 15th century when they were expelled by the Catholic Kings, Ferdinand and Isabella. Here I probably should be writing about the history of Sephardic cooking but I don’t think the 300-word-limit for this post allows for that!…
What I will share instead is the recipe because this salad is really easy to make and makes a nice starter – should even win with fussy eaters and children.
- oranges (1 per person)
- 1 pomegranate
- a dash of Extra Virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- Peel the oranges and cut off the membranes from the segments (see photos showing how best to do this at RossGastronómica). Save the juice squeezed out during the process.
- Sprinkle the sugar over the orange segments.
- Mix the juice of the orange with the olive oil.
- Cut open the pomegranate and take out the seeds.
- Put the orange slices on a plate, add the pomegranate seeds and the juice-oil mixture, toss gently. Let it stand for a few minutes.
The result should look like this:
My thanks to RossGastronómica (if you speak Spanish, do have a look at her blog) who visited the same restaurant in Mérida and allowed me to use her photo here. (It’s a small world.)