Gather round all you chorizo fans - here is a thoroughly fabulous way with the world's favourite sausage that is perfect on a summer evening. Thursdays and Fridays there is a stall round the corner from the office that sells hot chorizo rolls with piquillo peppers and fresh rocket. It's owned by Vahid of Borough Olives fame and he buys the chorizo and peppers from Brindisa and the bread from Rhodes. Jeremy and a young Brazilian guy are there for a couple of hours and they cook and construct each roll as it's ordered. And they are very very good indeed. Seriously.
Usually there is a queue - often up to about 15 minutes - and I always wait. Sometimes I get lucky and there is no one - just me to stand and watch the chorizo gently giving up it's ruby juices as the edges catch and caramelise and the smell of perfect bbq and paprika wafts about. Those two guys must smell lovely when they leave, an unexpected joy to sit next to on the bus. There was a young woman who worked on the gastronomica cheese stall for ages with Gianni and she said she really loved the stall but was embarassed going home by how much she smelled like cheeses. She moved on to the chocolate stall for that very reason then I lost track of her for a while till she reappeared at shellseekers selling fish and scallops.
Loving those lunches as I do I wanted to do a good thing with a chorizo from the freezer. The plan was lentils and a poached egg, but I still had a buffalo mozzarella that needed using and the last couple of piquillo peppers in a jar, ditto. Our garden is currently bountiful, tiny though it be. I had half a cucumber(already picked, obviously), lots of rocket, cut and come again lettuce, nasturtium leaves and flowers, and a profusion of herbs. There was also parsley and coriander in the fridge.
Our dinner became a herb salad tossed with hot chorizo and silky ribbons of piquillo , all of it ever so slighly wilted in a dressing of the rendered oil from the pan, lifted with a few drops of sherry vinegar for a bowlful of hot, sharp, sweet, sour. The second salad was a repetition of last weeks' delight - mozzarella and cucumber dressed with nothing more than black pepper and basil oil. Nestled palely gold beside them on the plate was a simple omelette. Some crusty bread and, even though we're not drinking much wine in the week, a minerally nz sauvignon blanc made it perfect.
Herb & Chorizo Salad
A generous handful of fresh herbs, washed and picked over - I used a mix of parsley, coriander, basil and tarragon
A generous handful of salad leaves, washed and picked over - I used lamb tongue, rocket and nasturtium leaves
4 or 5 piquillo peppers, drained and thinly sliced into long ribbons
2 cooking chorizo, cut into 1/2 cm thick coins
Scant tspn sherry vinegar
Mix the leaves and herbs together in a pretty bowl and scatter with strips of pepper.
Warm a small frying pan over a medium heat and add the sliced chorizo. Cook gently for about 10 minutes till the fat runs and the sausage smells wonderful. Take the sausage from the pan with a slotted spoon and add to the herbs.
Deglaze the pan with the sherry vinegar, pour over the herbs and toss till it's all lightly dressed.
Enough for the two of us. I'm sure it wouldn't keep and it would be wrong to waste any of it.