4 ripe tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and sliced
1 red pepper, roasted, peeled and cut into 6 strips, (piquillo peppers can be used)
4 slices of serrano ham, cut into fine strips
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 strand saffron
1 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 soup spoon sherry vinegar
1 quart ice-cold water
Put the salt, peeled garlic, cumin, pepper and saffron into the mortar and pound until you get a fine paste. Slowly add the oil so that it emulsifies and then the vinegar and a little cold water. Blend the tomatoes in a mortar or large bowl. When the tomato mixture is smooth, add the contents of the mortar and mix well.
Once the base for the dish has been made, there are two ways of finishing it: one involves beating the remaining ingredients into the tomato mixture, once you have seasoned it. The peppers and hard-boiled eggs are beaten in to form a paste, which is then liquefied to the desired consistency. The color may seem a little strange, but it is very tasty.
The alternative is to leave a thicker tomato mixture, which will be bright red in color and silky smooth with the dressing, and decorate it with strips of pepper and slices of hardboiled egg and then drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the dish.
Both alternatives are very traditional. If you want to turn it into a main-course dish, just add slices of boiled potatoes, chicken breast, etc. This dish is half way between a cold soup and a refreshing salad.
Recipe courtesy of Spain GourmeTour magazine.