Monday, 24 February 2014


I always say that it is the winters that make it worth while to live in the Mediterranean and not the summers. It is nearly always sunny and most days it is possible to eat outside. Here in Catalonia they like to take advantage of this and have many fiestas that involve eating.

Clotxa (pronounced clotcha) is a sandwich of the countryside.  It can be made with sausages or other vegetables but traditionally it is made with salted preserved sardines, tomatoes and onions. It was made famous by a village called Riba-Roja d'Ebre.  A village by the river Ebro in the south of Catalonia.  Many villages of this region are now having Clotxa fiestas.

Serves 2-4


1 round 1 kg loaf
4 tomatoes
4 small onions
4 salted sardines (you can use any salted fish, such as kippers or smoked eel)
Extra virgin olive oil

Prepare a BBQ or heat the oven to 230 c. If you are cooking in the oven you can wrap the tomatoes and onions in foil and place in the oven.  Pan fry the sardines for a few minutes on each side.

Wait until the flames have died down and you are left with the hot embers.  Place the tomatoes and onions (unpeeled) on the heat and cook for about 10 -15 minutes, turning to cook all sides.  Place the sardines on the BBQ  and cook for a minute on each side.  While everything is cooking cut the loaf in half and carefully cut out the centers and reserve.  As soon as the everything is cooked and cool enough to handle peel the tomatoes and cut out the core and squash into the center of the halves, then peel the onions and do the same.  Skin the fish and take out the bones and add to the halves.  Drizzle in a good amount of olive oil into each half and then replace the bread in the center, squash down and cut into quarters if you like and eat.

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