I have heard people describe Spanish food as heavy. And some of it is, but it doesn't have to be. A few days ago I was at a workshop in DC, Bethesda, Maryland to be exact, and happened to stumble upon a well-known food gem: Jaleo restaurant by chef Jose Andres. You can't imagine how thrilled I was. It is so difficult to negotiate food choices amongst large groups; I've learned to just go with the flow. Luckily, the flow took us to a good place this time.
But this entry is not about my food adventures per se. Even though the menu boasted phenomenal, to-die-for dishes like arroz negro, my eyes zeroed in on the fresh and doable at home. I thought I'd plug some ideas on Bite Me for quick, simple recipes that you can eat at a place like Jaleo, or you can simply make at home.
What you see here is a watermelon and tomato salad dressed with fresh sprouts and a creamy, mild goat cheese (idiazabal). Simple. Fresh. Delicious. Olive oil, balsamic, pistachios, salt.
On the top right you see traditional Catalan pan con tomate topped with very thin slices of jamon serrano. The best. The key is to toast some crusty bread, and as soon as it comes out of the oven literally rub a tomato into it. You can rub as little or as much as you like, top with some good olive oil, and layer jamon serrano, manchego cheese, or anchovies. This is easy, but impressive and full of flavor.
Just remember, the key to keeping Spanish food light and true is to focus on the quality of the ingredients. Get the best you can afford!