In the quest for the most extravagant and spectacularly looking dishes, we often overlook the basics. What a shame!
So here’s one of them: bollit (in Valencian) or hervido (in Spanish). Which literally means… boiled!
This dish is extremely simple, consisting of boiling vegetables in salted water, and then having them with a bit of fat of your choosing. I know—it sounds “unappetising”, and it looks “ugly”, but it can be oh so comforting, especially when the weather is cold or if you’re feeling not so great and all you need is some simple food that doesn’t require extremely sophisticated skills to prepare.
If you’re a frequent reader of this blog, you might recall that tiger nuts or chufas are the main ingredient for Valencian horchata de chufas. But they’re still a bit of an exotic ingredient in the UK. So you have to go a bit out of your way to get them.
Last week we got a big melon in our fruit and veg box delivery, and when I was removing the seeds I remembered that I read that early horchata recipes used melon seeds, and I wondered: what would an horchata made of melon seeds taste like?
Why not try it? After all, these seeds were going to go to waste, and I have a bit of time in my hands… so…
On this day, we took a cute two-car train to Narai.
Narai is a former post town: a place where travellers would stop for a break in their journey along one of the routes connecting Kyoto with Tokyo.
It is also exceptionally well preserved, with the appearance that a Westerner expects from “old Japan”: a quiet high street, low wooden houses, panels, and archetypal Japanese implements and ornaments everywhere you look at.