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The Spanish Home Kitchen by José Pizarro

Posted by Nigella on the 30th June 2022
Image of Jose Pizarro's Roast Garlic Soup
Photo by Emma Lee

I have come late to a proper appreciation of Spanish food. Most of my European eating, since I was in my teens, has been focussed on Italy, and I have never really got to know Spain in any depth first hand. But I have, more recently, been educating myself deliciously through Nieves Barragán Mohacho’s and José Pizarro’s breathtaking food here in London, and find myself Iberically inspired! So I was primed, perhaps, to greet The Spanish Home Kitchen with keen curiosity and enthusiasm. But even without any particular interest, I do believe this is a book that would have wowed me anyway: it’s full of food that I want to eat, have to cook, and makes me happy just to think about. Quite simply, I love it. I can’t see how anyone wouldn’t.

Frankly, I could cook from this book non-stop, and from the amount of post-it notes I’ve stuck eagerly throughout, it looks like that’s exactly what I’ll be doing. I have cooked a few already and have plans for so many more: Tomato Soup with Figs is on the schedge for later on in the summer; as is (I do love a chilled soup!) his Cherry Gazpacho. I couldn’t wait for the Zorongollo, which is a dream for me: roast tomatoes, red onion, red bell peppers and garlic on toast with sliced hard boiled eggs, capers, and anchovies. And I have to mention to you his Sautéed Jerusalem Artichokes with Jamon Ibérico and Kale; Fried Sardines with Warm Lentil Salad, Fennel and a Lemon Salsa Verde; Deep-Fried Calamari Sandwich (yes!); Rice and Clams - soupy, sticky, full of flavour; Slow-Cooked Squid with Caramelised Fennel, Onions, and a Lemony Parsley Dressing; Crab Canelones; Cuchifrito - chunks of tender pork belly, fried till crisp - with Preserved Lemon Salsa; Lentils with Chorizo and Potatoes; Moorish Meatballs with Spinach, Pine Nuts and Spiced Saffron Yogurt; Honey Ice Cream; the intriguing Técula-Mécula, a kind of lemon-scented almond-custard pie; the Santiago Cake with PX Cream; and his Baked Orange Rice Pudding with Strawberry Compote. Sorry to get so very listy, but I couldn’t bear not to bring these to your attention. If you love eating and cooking, I just don’t see how you can do without this book.

I’ve chosen a simple recipe to share with you today - not that any are particularly complicated, I should tell you - and it’s the gentle and very lovely Creamy Milk and Roast Garlic Soup, which I’ve already made twice! I feel you need it in your life, too.

The Spanish Home Kitchen: Simple, Seasonal Recipes and Memories from My Home by José Pizarro (Hardie Grant, £27). Photography © Emma Lee.

Book cover of The Spanish Home Kitchen by Jose Pizarro

Try this recipe from the book

Image of Jose Pizarro's Roast Garlic Soup
Photo by Emma Lee
Creamy Milk and Roast Garlic Soup with Manchego and Green Olive Toast
By José Pizarro
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