THE LAST TIME I ATE SALPICÓN WAS IN A BAR IN CÁDIZ, A CITY ON THE PERIPHERY OF THE SHERRY TRIANGLE. I HAD BEEN WATCHING A BRASS BAND PRACTISING FOR THE NEXT DAY’S BULLFIGHT IN THE COURTYARD OF A BLOCK OF FLATS. WHEN THE LAST TRUMPET FINISHED ECHOING OFF THE CONCRETE WALLS, THE BAND’S MUSIC WAS REPLACED BY THE SHRILL CALL OF A FLOCK OF GULLS CHASING A SCHOOL OF FISH IN THE BAY. THE SUN HOVERED OVER THE BAY OF CÁDIZ, ITS RAYS FLARING IN THE CLOUDS IN THE UPPER ATMOSPHERE, FLOODING THE WHOLE WESTERN SKY WITH RICH YELLOW LIGHT. THE BAND MEMBERS CAME INTO THE BAR SHORTLY AFTER ME. SOME DRANK BEER. MOST HAD SHERRY. THEY ALL ORDERED SALPICÓN – A COLD SALAD OF POACHED SEAFOOD AND SUMMER VEGETABLES. ALTHOUGH IT SOUNDS LIGHT, SALPICÓN HAS A DEPTH OF FLAVOUR THAT MARRIES PERFECTLY WITH CHILLED MANZANILLA SHERRY.
Add the fish to one saucepan and cook for 6 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and place on a tray. In the other three saucepans cook the remaining seafood separately, cooking the squid for 2–3 minutes, and the scallops and prawns for 1½ minutes each. Transfer all the cooked seafood to the tray and allow to cool.
Place the mussels and the remaining
Combine the tomatoes, capsicum, cucumber, onion and parsley in a large bowl. Add the reserved mussel liquid, the olive oil, vinegar, white pepper and sea salt flakes and mix well. Add the seafood and gently toss again. Refrigerate until chilled, then serve with crusty bread.
© 2009 All rights reserved. Published by Murdoch Books.