Barcelona might be as generously supplied with sushi joints as any other cosmopolitan city, but “fusion” cuisine of any kind is still regarded there with great suspicion. Witness the uproar that ensued when Juanito, the legendary proprietor of Bar Pinotxo in the Boqueria market, introduced a toasted canapé topped with an avocado spread on his menu. How could a place as iconically Catalan as Pinotxo dare to spread a tostada with a Mexican guacamole, the traditionalists cried out. Could this be the end of Catalan cuisine? None of it seemed to bother Juanito, who proudly plied regulars with his new concoction. Besides, his lemony avocado spread, bolstered with sherry vinegar, isn’t exactly guacamole. Juanito serves it on long slices of toasted bread, topped with fat anchovies and sprinkled with chopped, briny black olives.
- Yield: 1 ½ CUPS
- 2 small garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 best-quality oil-packed anchovy fillets, drained and chopped
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 large pinch of coarse salt (kosher or sea)
- 1½ tablespoons fragrant extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar, preferably aged
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
- 2 small ripe Hass avocados, pitted and diced
- 1 small ripe plum tomato, cut in half and grated on a box grater, skin discarded
- Toasted or grilled country bread, for serving
- Place the garlic, anchovies, parsley, and salt in a mortar and, using a pestle, mash them into a paste. Whisk in the olive oil, vinegar, and lemon juice. Set the dressing aside.
- Place the avocados in a bowl and, using a fork, mash them until completely smooth. Stir in the tomato and the dressing, then taste for seasoning, adding more lemon juice as necessary. Let the spread stand for 15 to 20 minutes for the flavors to meld, then serve with toasted or grilled bread.