EVERY REGION OF SPAIN HAS A CAPSICUM (PEPPER) SALAD AND FROM AN OUTSIDER’S PERSPECTIVE THERE MAY NOT SEEM A LOT BETWEEN THEM. BUT THIS EXTREMEÑAN VERSION IS PROBABLY ONE OF THE MOST ROBUST OF THEM ALL. IT INVOLVES HAND-ROASTING CAPSICUMS OVER A GAS FLAME USING A PAIR OF KITCHEN TONGS. THE PROCESS IS INTENSE BUT SHORT, REALLY SEARING THE SKIN AND OUTSIDE LAYER OF THE FLESH, BUT LEAVING THE INTERIOR FIRM. THE SKIN IS PEELED AWAY — A JOB THAT CAN BE A LITTLE TIME CONSUMING — LEAVING A VERY LOVELY SMOKY FLESH. COMBINED WITH THE ACID OF THE TOMATO AND FLAVOUR HIT FROM THE PIMENTÓN IT IS A VERY WONDERFUL DISH. IT’S GOOD ON TOASTED BREAD, BY ITSELF OR AS AN ACCOMPANIMENT TO MEATS.
Place the capsicums directly on the flames of a gas stovetop or a barbecue chargrill plate and cook, turning frequently with a pair of metal kitchen tongs, for 10–15 minutes, or until the skins blacken and begin to peel off. The flesh should still be quite firm. Place in a heatproof bowl until cool enough to handle, then peel off and discard the skins. This is a rustic dish, so don’t worry if there are black bits or a little skin still left on. Cut the capsicums in half, then remove and discard the stems, seeds and membranes. Cut the flesh into strips
Place the garlic on a chopping board, sprinkle with the salt flakes and chop together to form a very rough paste. Add the garlic paste to the capsicum with the remaining ingredients. Toss to combine well and serve while the capsicum is still warm.
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