After two weeks in Cargese, Corsica I am back to the Nederlands. This is a typical snack in València made of flour, water, a pinch of salt and some seeds
Winter and rain are coming to Netherlands and as a result the pumpkin season is here. Now you can get pumpkins almost everywhere and I just thought that why not to start to use them in the kitchen besides as decoration in gardens and houses as some Dutch people do. One of the first ideas was to make bread.
Before starting the bread, you have to boil the pumpkin for around 15min after cutting it in dices. Leave it a side to cool down. In some places you can buy the pre-cooked pumpkin in a tin however if you have time it is better to do it yourself.
While it cools down, mix the dry yeast in a bit of water. In another bowl mix the dry ingredients and later add the pre-cooked pumpkin. Then mix as much as you can the pumpkin with the flour, I found easy to just use my hand even if it was sticky. When the dough becomes homogeneous add the sugar to the yeast mix and then add everything to the dough. Keep mixing and adding the remaining water until you get a nice dough. Do not worry if it gets too wet, in my case it was not liquid but it was not easy to remove from my hands. Later place it in a nonstick shape that you prefer and leave it resting for around 40min. Keep in mind that the longer you leave it the fluffier the bread will get however it depends on the time or patience you have :- ). Later bake it at 160ºC for around 35min.
This bread came out really fluffy and moist. As a surprise it was not sweet at all and the pumpkin gave it a really nutty taste (I used butternut pumpkin perhaps if you use another kind of pumpkin might change the flavour). Another surprise was that after 4 days the bread was still really good.
As a kid growing up in València, you always get white rice with olive oil, laurel and garlic when you have stomach ache (such as indigestion). We believe that it is easy to digest and has a mild taste. I loved it as a child and I still enjoy a lot to eat a good plain risotto with olive oil. It is so tasty and yummy, however one has to use the proper rice (in my opinion, the best one is rice from “L’horta de València“).
We served the risotto with a veggie stew made of carrots, onions, courgette, aubergine, broccoli, cauliflower, red and green pepper and … I think that I did not forget any veggie.
If you want to know a bit of history of València, I found a nice article (it is in catalan, try to translate it otherwise ask me for help). In this article you will see that actually the paella is not a Spanish dish, as it is known in the rest of the world. The traditional Spanish cuisine does not use rice, even though Spanish people can eat a lot of it. You will find out that the rice comes from the Catalan countries, as well as most of the traditional rice dishes eaten by Spanish.