amanida catalana – Catalan salad
A guide to food in Spain
Salads are normally served as a complement to the meal, i.e. a simple green salad. However in Catalonia they are more of a feature and an Amanida Catalana or Catalan Salad is a very substantial dish of a selection of meats and cheeses with a mixed salad, usually with at least two varieties of olives. Restaurants often have their own ‘mix’ and to an extent reputations are built on this. A good Catalan salad certainly shouldn’t be just a few scraps of processed meats and packet cheeses, rather a smaller selection of embutits (the collective noun for dried sausages). Note that salad dressings are almost unknown, one helps oneself to oil, vinegar and salt as required (the quality of the oil is also the mark of a good restaurant).
By Simon Rice