Rioja Recipe: Ensalada De Pimientos Estilo-Andaluz

Enjoy this recipe from Penelope Casas, a frequent contributor to The New York Times, Gourmet, Food & Wine, and Fine Cooking. She is also a consultant and lecturer on Spain, a guest speaker at the Smithsonian Institution and the National Geographic Society, as well as an adjunct professor at the New York University.

Ensalada De Pimientos Estilo-Andaluz
(Red Pepper, Tomato, And Tuna Salad, Andalusian Style)

This version of Andalusian red pepper salad comes from the Cazorla restaurant In Madrid and is an especially delicious rendition. It includes tomato, white-meat tuna and mild bright green olives, and is served in a bowl with lots of liquid from the peppers and tomatoes. More than salad, this can serve as a great side dish to Andalusian fried fish and grilled shrimp. Serves 4.

6 medium-large, deep red bell peppers
1/2 pound good-quality white-meat tuna, preferably imported from Spain
1/2 pound ripe but firm tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch slices, then halved
12 mild bright green olives, such as Cerignola
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
6 tablespoons fruity extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon wine vinegar, preferably mild white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Kosher or sea salt

Preheat the oven to 550'F. Place the peppers in a roosting pan and cook until charred, turning once, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and place in a deep dish. Cover with foil and let sit for 15 minutes. Peel off the skin, core, and seed the peppers, reserving the juices.

Slice the peppers into 3/4-inch strips and place in a bowl. Add the tuna, broken into chunks, the tomatoes, olives, and parsley. Fold in the oil, vinegar, sugar, and salt to taste with a rubber spatula. Refrigerate overnight. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Serve with...
Un-oaked white Rioja
Light and crisp, these wines are fermented in stainless steel and are usually released after only 6 months of bottle aging. Not meant to be showstoppers but they are often the most surprising in tastings. I can think of no other white wine produced anywhere else in the world that delivers this kind of value and consistency.

Clean and citrusy with aromas of fresh apples and pears.

When to Enjoy
Enjoy as a pre-meal aperitif, alongside a grilled chicken salad with arugula and tomato, shrimp kabobs, ginger and lemon roasted chicken served at room temperature.

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