Spanish tapas bars can become legendary among locals for even the humblest of things—a great potato omelet, extra-fat caper berries. Las Golondrinas, a crammed, tiled institution in Seville’s evocative Triana quarter, is a case in point. Its menu is varied, but the wall-to-wall crowds that gather there each evening all demand one thing: marinated carrots. Spiced in the Moorish manner with cumin and loads of garlic and swimming in a tangy puddle of lemon juice and aromatic olive oil, the carrot slices are indeed a treat. The bar also uses a similar aliño (marinade) for slices of cooked beets and roasted red peppers, and I invite you to follow its lead. Getting the actual recipe was out of the question; it’s zealously guarded. But while not as transporting as the original, my version comes pretty close.
- Yield: 10 AS A LIGHT TAPA
- 1 pound carrots (about 1½ inches in diameter), trimmed and scraped
- 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt (kosher or sea)
- ½ cup plus 1 teaspoon fragrant extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1½ tablespoons best-quality red wine vinegar
- Place the carrots in a large pot of boiling salted water and cook until crisp-tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the carrots and let cool just enough to handle, then cut them into ¼-inch slices.
- While the carrots are cooking, place the garlic, cumin, oregano, red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon parsley, salt, and 1 teaspoon olive oil in a mortar and, using a pestle, mash them into a medium-fine paste.Whisk the lemon juice into the garlic paste.
- Place the carrot slices in a glass bowl while they are still warm and pour the garlic paste over them. Add the vinegar and the remaining ½ cup olive oil and toss to mix. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let marinate for at least 6 hours or refrigerate overnight. The carrots can be refrigerated for at least a week. Let the carrots come to room temperature before serving, place in a serving bowl, and garnish with parsley.