In Andalucia, Southern Spain, it is rare to come across vegetables when dining out. Apparently, this is because the locals eat a lot of vegetables at home so when they go out they prefer to order meat and fish. Perhaps this is why one of the first dishes that caught my eye when I was flicking through Movida Rustica was the Alcachofas con Jamón. I love artichokes, but I never saw one in my entire time living in Andalucia, although the addition of jamón in vegetable dishes is familiar making a vegetarian’s passage through Spain even more trying.
“In Zaragoza there is a small suburban restaurant owned by a man who has made his life studying jamón. He is a brilliant cortador … who jokingly says he sold his soul to the devil to be able to cut jamón so well. ... This is one of the dishes he served me one day: brilliantly soft artichokes in a delicate jamón and sherry-flavoured sauce.”