morcilla, pinoli, raisins; radicchio salad; baby leeks


I love blood sausage, regardless which cultural environment produces it, and the Spanish do as well by it as any other.

The day was warm. To avoid introducing heat into the kitchen and dining area we were thinking of having a simple indoor picnic, but then I remembered that a friend had given us some morcilla a while back and that we hadn’t yet figured out how we were going to enjoy it.  Maybe it wouldn’t rewuire much cooking, and since I was home all afternoon anyway, following the dramatic developments in Greece, for ideas I could do some paper file browsing and an online search.   It turned out that my folders contained absolutely nothing, and neither of my two Iberian cookbooks offered any useful suggestions, other than outlines for preparations far more elaborate than I would want to undertake under any circumstances (one of the reasons I love Italian cookery so much).  Using a search engine however, I managed to assemble some sketches which I was able to put together as a rough outline for an entrée which would incorporate the morcilla.

I ended up with a fairly simple preparation which featured materials I already had on hand.

  • three tablespoons of pine nuts allowed to turn golden in a little olive oil, then removed and set aside, some Despaña Brand Morcilla (four links, a total of 8 oz.), the gift of a friend, cut into thick rounds with the skin left on, added to the oil in the pan, along with a few tablespoons of mixed raisins, all stirred and fried for a few minutes, followed by the addition of a few tablespoons of rosé wine (opened the day before and kept in the refrigerator door), which was simmered for about four minutes before the pine nuts were added back to the pan, the whole then spooned over a previously-assembled salad of radicchio from Tamarack Hollow Farm, arugula from Whole Foods, and a mélange of herbs (parsley from Stoke’s Farm. lovage from Mountain Sweet Berry Farm, tarragon from Stokes Farm, fennel fronds from Bodhitree Farm, and basil from Keith’s Farm), dressed with a very good olive oil, a Rioja red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper
  • tiny baby leeks from Mountain Sweet Berry Farm, rolled in olive oil, minced garlic, a bit of red wine vinegar, salt and pepper, then quickly pan-grilled, finished with chopped thyme from Eckerton Hill Farm
  • the bread was a whole wheat, ‘Integrale’, from Eataly
  • the wine was a Spanish red, Finca Millara Beterna Ribiera Sacra Mencia 2012
  • the music was that of Lisa Bielawa