This is a simple, healthy specialty from Cordoba, prepared and served cold, and ideal when the weather starts to warm up.
1 Kg of tomatoes
1 garlic clove
A 10 cm chunk of white baguette (it’s ok if its hard/a few days old)
2 tbs Vinegar
1/8 litre of Extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of salt
1 Boiled egg (optional)
100 gr of chopped up serrano ham (optional)
This recipe really needs the use of a powerful blending machine – if you don’t have one you can use a hand mixer as long as you use a "pasapuresâ€ (mouli) in the final stage.
Start by immersing the bread in a bowl full of water, then wash the tomatoes and cut them into quarters. When the bread has softened, get it out of the bowl and get rid of the excess liquid by squeezing it with your hands, then place it along with the tomatoes in the mixer jar.
Add a peeled garlic clove cut into quarters, a pinch of salt and then start your machine for 4 to 6 minutes.
Check the texture, it should be quite thick, but if you think it’s too dense for your taste then you can add from 1/2 to 1 glass of cold water. To do so start the mixer and add the water little by little stopping every now and again to check if the texture is right.
Taste for salt and add more if needed, start the machine for a few seconds so it mixes properly and repeat the procedure until the salt is just right.
Then proceed to add the vinegar, again start the machine for few seconds to allow proper mixing. Stop the machine and taste again, if you think it needs a little bit more, add more vinegar.
Finally, add the oil gradually, starting the machine at a low speed setting. Again, stop to taste.
I know it might be annoying to start-stop so many times but I find that is the only way to get the taste that one likes, which as a matter of fact also depends on the acidity of the tomatoes, so the taste might vary each time. It is also important to follow the order, for example water should always be added before the oil.
To present the Salmorejo, serve in small bowls or small earthenware dishes. You can eat it alone, or for a more filling dish you can add a spoonful of boiled egg chopped very finely and/or a spoonful of serrano ham, also cut into very small pieces – these are sprinkled onto each bowl just before serving.