CATALAN CUISINE José Pizarro's authentic Spanish recipes
Enjoy an authentic Catalan experience in your own home with these recipes from Spanish chef José Pizarro’s new cookbook, Catalonia
José Pizarro has been sharing the flavours of his homeland for more than 18 years, and is chef-owner of José Tapas Bar and Pizarro – both in Bermondsey, Broadgate Circle’s José Pizarro and Little José in Canary Wharf. @jose_pizarro
‘Catalonia is really beautiful. I have visited so many times over the years and one thing I know for sure is the more I go, the more I appreciate the place and the people. In their cooking, the people of Catalonia have never lost their culinary roots – sometimes aspects of recipes or methods stretch as far back as medieval times. In Catalan cuisine, there’s often a healthy nod to history, and this I really love. In the food, we see that the people are so proud of their heritage and cultural identity and love who they are and where they’re from.’ Pan-fried pork belly with courgette, fennel & preserved lemon salad Pork belly usually feels wintry, but I think this makes for a refreshing dish at any time of the year, especially if you add preserved lemons to help cut through the fat.
SERVES 6 PREP 15 mins COOK 1 hr MORE EFFORT 1kg boneless pork belly, rind removed and fat scored olive oil, for frying
2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed few lemon thyme sprigs
1 tsp fennel seeds
750ml chicken stock
3-4 courgettes, cut into ribbons using a vegetable peeler 1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
2 preserved lemons (see recipe, below), finely chopped extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle
1 Season the pork all over and cut into six pieces. Heat a layer of olive oil in a deep frying pan and brown the pork all over. Add the garlic, lemon thyme and fennel seeds. Cook for 1 min, then add the stock. Bring to the boil, then gently simmer for 45 mins.
2 Toss the courgette, fennel and preserved lemon in a bowl. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season. 3 Divide the pork between plates and serve with the salad.
PER SERVING 361 kcals • fat 23g • saturates 8g • carbs 3g • sugars 3g • fibre 4g • protein 33g • salt 1.7g Preserved lemons PREP 15 mins plus 2 hrs marinating NO COOK EASY V Pare 2 lemons and put the zest in a sterilised jar. Remove the pith from the lemons, then cut the flesh into wedges and add to the jar. Pour in 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and add 3 tbsp caster sugar, 2 tbsp flaky sea salt, 1 tsp whole black peppercorns, 1 whole red chilli and 2-3 lemon verbena or lemon thyme sprigs. Shake gently to dissolve the sugar, then seal and set aside for at least a couple of hrs or for up to one week.