A traditional vegan classic from the south of Spain, originally cooked to replicate Morcilla (black pudding basically). You regularly see it served around Murcia, especially on tapas bar counters. Its a great option for me in the land of jamon. All Murcians know the dish and are rightly proud of it. We’ve added some tempeh to the traditional recipe making it more of main event. I love cooking aubergines right down with sweet onions and the addition of proper Spanish herbs and spices really pack a punch flavour wise.
Even though its called a ‘summer’ dish, we think this is great all year around. Due to its slightly meat like texture, this is a dish to sate all. We’re always trying to find dishes that will appeal to meat eaters aka most of our family and friends. This is exactly what this dish was created for, people couldn’t afford meat and were looking for a delicious substitute.
You know, I love Spanish food and this dish really taps into the rustic heart of their magical range of cuisine. Spanish food speaks of the land and culture. It is the perfect expression of such a diverse land and for me, the cuisine of the South perfectly matches the arid plains and craggy red mountains. Its rugged, its got bags of soul and it can take your breath away.
As some of you will know, my parents have a little place over in Murcia, Jane and I are regular visitors chasing the sun and the peaceful Med life. This dish is based on a recipe passed to us from wonderful friends over that way, Fey and Jose. It is actually Jose’s brother Andres recipe and he created it in an attempt to eat less meat (he’s a real maverick in the area, only 0.3% of Spain’s population are veggies after all). I still have the little scrap of paper that he wrote it down on one night, for me that is real soul cooking. This recipe is connected with so many memories of wonderful people and places, we can’t help but love it. We have of course made our usual Beach House alterations, but this does not stray too far from Andres Murcian delight. Gracias HombresX
Don’t be shy with the oil here, remember it is Spanish after all! The dish should be slightly on the oily side which of course makes it very rich and satisfying. After eating this for dinner Jane exclaimed “I feel like I’ve just eaten meat and two veg” rubbing her belly. Always a good sign.
We decided that this is a star dish and very versatile. It could be used to stuff a vegetable, a courgette or potato sounds perfect. Of course, its great for tapas and picnics and is lovely even when served cold.
2 small aubergines
1 small onion (all three finely diced and kept seperate)
2 garlic cloves (crushed)
2 teas fresh rosemary (finely chopped)
2 teas sherry vinegar
2 teas sweet paprika
1/2 teas cinnamon
1/2 teas all spice
2 teas fresh oregano (finely chopped) or 1 teas dried
200g tempeh (or tofu)
1-2 teas sea salt
1 1/2 teas cracked black pepper
Olive oil (for frying)
2 tbs toasted pine nuts or almonds
This is a three part saute/ pan frying routine, meaning a number of stages until your meaty morcilla is just right. The trick is to get everything nicely caramelised, bringing out maximum flavours.
Start with your aubergine and courgette. Add 2 tbs of the oil and warm on a medium heat in a heavy based frying pan. Add the aubergine and saute for 8-10 minutes, until nice and golden and releasing some of their liquid, then add the courgettes and continue to saute for another 5 minutes. This is the real flavourful aspect of the dish, the aubergines should be nicely browned and gorgeously sweet by this stage. Set aside.
Next, your tempeh needs sorting. Chop it up finely, it will resemble dried scramble egg. Add 1/2 tbs of oil and saute for 5-7 minutes, until it is beginning to get brown around the edges. Set aside with the aubergine mix.
Now, add 1 tbs oil, fry the onions in the same pan (wipe out if necessary). Lower the heat if things are getting a little hot. Stir, the onions should take 6-8 minutes to become golden, we don’t want to rush them and risk burning them. Once they are golden, add the garlic and cook for 3 minutes, pop your vinegar in to a big hiss. Now it’s time to spice things up.
Add your paprika, all spice and cinnamon, saute for a minute, stirring all the time and not allowing the mix to stick. Then add your herbs and the aubergine/tempeh mix to the pan. Stir well and warm through for a couple of minutes. Your ready for the plate.
In a warm serving dish, topped with some pine nuts and a sprinkling of paprika.
We served our morcilla with some steamed green vegetables (broad beans, runner beans and broccoli) with some pan fried lemon cabbage.
We Love It!
Really satisfying rustic style Spanish fare. I imagine this is pretty close to Morcilla itself and cannot wait to try it out on some meat eaters. Dads coming soon, one of our favourite guinea pigs.
Pine nuts are just incredible little things. Now so expensive, but worth every penny as a treat item. They can make a real difference to a dish, especially when roasted a little to bring out the flavour.
Pine nuts are full of vitamin A, so you’ll be able to see in the dark. They have good levels of vitamin D, for the bones and are also rich in vitamin C and iron. They are quite fatty, which is obvious when you enjoy them, but its mono-unsaturated fats. Pine nuts are also packed full of energy, great on cereal for a morning buzz and fizz.