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Spanish Tapas - Zarangollo from Murcia
21 January 2021 @ 14:02

It may not look very photogenic, but "Zarangollo" is one of those dishes that makes any Murcian's mouth water. Simple, popular and of humble origin, Zarangollo shares characteristics with so many other recipes from Spanish gastronomy, but it has 'something' that makes it a very special dish.

As is the case with many recipes in Spain, being so simple, every household has it's own particular version as well as accepted variants with different ingredients throughout the Region. It is a typical dish during the Spring Festivities and the September Feria, with close ties to Murcia's tradition of vegetable growing.

The three basic ingredients for Zarangollo are onion, courgette and egg, and it can also include potatoes. The most traditional preparation consists of frying the spring onions ó sweet onions with the vegetables.

Ideally, prepare twice the weight of courgettes to onions. Here the star is the courgette. It is also best to choose medium-sized specimens, which you can either peel or not. Personally, I don peel them. Use a small amount of oil to avoid soaking up too much fat, the only real trick is to let the vegetables cook slowly in their own juices until they are very tender. Don't rush it. Eggs, if possible, should be free-range. They are always thrown in without beating, stirring very gently so that the mixture is smooth. Fancy giving it a go? This is what you'll need for 4 people:

 

1-2 Large sweet brown onions or large spring onions

3-4 medium-sized courgettes / about 1kg

3 Large Free range eggs (add more if they are small)

Extra virgin Olive Oil

Salt and Black Pepper


Steps to take:


Peel the onion and wash the courgettes. Cut the first one into a fine julienne. Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan and fry the onion with a pinch of salt. Lower the heat and fry until very tender and they start to caramelize a little.

While the onion is cooking, wash and peel the courgette if you wish to do so, I don't peel it though. If you do, be careful not to remove too much flesh. Slice the courgette into thin discs.

Add the courgette to the onion, season lightly and stir well. First cook over high heat stirring constantly, so that the water is released. If all the ingredients don't fit at once, wait until it reduces a little to make room for the rest. It will reduce in size considerably.

When the courgette is slightly cooked, lower the heat and let it cook slowly. This will create a concentrated flavour and also a very smooth texture. Stir from time to time and keep cooking until very tender, about 40-50 minutes.

Finally, crack the eggs directly on top, season them and stir gently, mixing them into the vegetables and breaking the yolks. The idea is that they cook little by little, staying very juicy or almost liquidy, without transforming into scrambled eggs or an omelette.

Cook for a few more minutes over very low heat until the texture is right, they should juicy but not a liquid. Until you give this a go many not know exactly what I am trying to describe! Remove from the heat and let them rest for about 5 minutes and then serve immediately or refrigerate when cool. It can hold very well for several hours in the fridge, so you can make it ahead of time if you need to.

 

 

Zarangollo can be accompanied by salad and, of course, bread to dip. However it doesn't have to be the main meal, you can combine it with almost anything from Pisto to chips or even meat and fish.

So, there you go. Enjoy!



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