Spain's sweltering summer weather is upon us and thermometers are pushing into the "stifling hot" territory. Summer menus will be making featured appearances on the umbrella-shaded tables scattered throughout Spain's plazas and parks. With air-conditioning being far from universal, people resort to focusing on cold soups and fresh salads, simple seafood and refreshing wine-based drinks because the thought of turning on the oven is just too much!
We have gathered some of our favorite summer dishes to cool down on these toasty summer days in Spain!
Gazpacho is a tried-and-true classic summer staple and one of Spain's most famous contributions to the world's refreshing cold soups category! While the recipes of Gazpacho vary from place-to-place and person-to-person, the fundamentals are always the same delightful blend of deep red tomatoes, fresh vegetables, a touch of extra virgin olive oil and a hint of Spanish sherry vinegar.
Salmorejo is sometimes referred to as the richer cousin of Gazpacho. It is thicker and more garlicky and takes things to the next level with cubes of cured ham and lots of olive oil. Sometimes, a day-old baguette is added to the aesthetic of this blended cold soup. It is both satisfying and healthy!
Ajoblanco is an almond-based creamy white soup that dates back to the times of the Moorish rule in Spain. This humble soup is made of bread, almonds, garlic, water, olive oil, salt and vinegar. Sometimes, almond milk is added to accentuate its almond base. Some common garnishes include grapes, apples and melons.
Ensalada Mixta is the classic mixed salad served in many Spanish restaurants, composed of romaine lettuce, tomato, carrot, tuna, onion, sweet corn and boiled egg. Oftentimes it is garnished with some Spanish chili pepper and seasoned with a simple vinaigrette based on olive oil, wine vinegar and salt. It is a simple and refreshing dish for the hot summer!
A typical malagueña is made with cod and orange and seasoned it with salt, lemon juice or vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Sometimes, potatoes, chives and olives are also added. It’s a surprising combination that couldn’t be better for keeping cool during the summer!
Spanish anchovies cured in vinegar, called boquerones in vinagre, are one of the best summer tapas. A slice of bread usually accompanies the dish. One bite almost takes away all of the hot flashes of a Spanish summer day! Even if you aren't a fan of anchovies, this Spanish delicacy is worth a try.
Tinto de Verano
Summer in Spain would not be complete without Tinto de Verano, which translates to summer wine. This drink is usually one-third red wine combined with two-thirds of lemon Fanta soda or lemon tonic and dominates most summer drink menus. A refreshing pitcher of Tinto de Verano goes with any meal during the hot summer months in Spain!
If you plan on being in Spain during the summer, make sure you introduce these delicious treats to your taste buds!