You hear so much about summer cooking, but over time,I’ve come to see that summer is as summer does. In Scotland, you can fire up the oven to cook aubergines and take a hamper full of porra on a picnic. And sit in a cold drizzle while you dip prawn crackers, and wonder, what, exactly, you were thinking about.
But now I’m in Madrid, and summer in Madrid is not kidding around. There is no turning on of ovens, and stoves, as little as possible, thank you. Gazpacho, wether real or Alvalle, is consumed by the gallon. Fruit is delicious and plentiful and so cheap it leaves me aghast, used as I am by now to the highway robbery up north. There are all sorts of lovely tins. And if you want anything else, there are plenty of bars and restaurants.
So there you are. Where there is summer, there is no cooking, and vice versa.
Sometimes I go beyond slicing a few of the beautiful tomatoes. Here’s a salad I like. It’s the cocarrois insides salad, minus the pimentón, and it goes like this:
Chop some cauliflower, small, into bits the size of a chickpea. A lot of the florets will crumble into smaller pieces, which is a good thing.
Chop spring onions, very small. In Spain spring onions are huge, unwieldy things, and only the white bit is eaten, but you go ahead and use the green if it’s dainty enough.
Now dice a tomato or two, and add some chopped flat leaf parsley. You want a good mix of color.
Dress with salt, olive oil and vinegar.
(The illustration is from a t-shirt I've done for Tío Pepe)