Chef and Owner of Taberna de Haro, Boston, MA
RecipesEscarole Salad with Clementines from Spain and Pomegranates Tuna Tartar with Clementines from Spain Juice and Red Vermouth Clementines from Spain “Brazo Gitano”
What do you love about Clementines from Spain?
I love how incredibly refreshing they are. They are perfectly balanced - a great dose of sweetness balanced by a zing of acidity so they are never cloying. Clementines from Spain are my favorites because of this brightness, this exuberance.
What is your favorite way to enjoy Clementines from Spain?
My favorite way to enjoy Clementines from Spain is 5 at a time while reading a glossy food magazine. They are easy to peel, make no mess, and are four perfect bites of health and sunshine!
What do you love about food from Spain?
I love its breadth and diversity - there are literally thousands of dishes from Spain. I especially love their inherent respect for seasonality. In Spain you look forward to a food's season and celebrate its arrival. You make the most of a fruit or vegetable’s elusive time in your market, eating it until you almost can't eat any more of it. And that is a good thing, because you won't be able to have it again for about a year!
The Clementine is a perfect example. As the fall grows gray and dreary, they are a burst of sunshine in every market, restaurant, and kitchen. The first ones to arrive may be a bit tight and tart compared to December's full-on ripeness and sweet splendor, but you are thrilled to have them just the same. Mother Nature times it perfectly: you need the vitamin C of citrus as the weather cools down. All through December you eat about a dozen a day, greedily and thankfully. They are on every holiday table, big bowls of shiny, orange refreshment that you can always find a space for in your overstuffed belly.
What is unique about your restaurant, Taberna de Haro, and the Spanish influence?
Taberna de Haro is an authentic restaurant for the food and wine of Spain. I am completely committed to serving traditional food, such as croquetas de jamon, gallina en pepitoria, and sopa de ajo, to name just a few. There is a modern food movement afoot in Spain, which is amazing, but I don't incorporate any of that influence into my dishes. I use products imported from Spain such as olive oil, anchovies, piquillo peppers, olives, saffron, cheeses, boquerones, marcona olives, jamon serrano, chorizo. We roast chickens and whole fish as well as enpananadas in a brick oven in our open kitchen. We grill baby lamb chops and steak, served with home-made French fries that delight. We make all our deserts on the premises, like flan, natillas, and mato. If it's not Spanish, we don't serve it. The atmosphere is lively and there are often people drinking wine at the bar as they wait for a table, just like in Spain! My wine list offers 235 wines, all from Spain, reflecting my passion for the huge array of beautiful wine being made in Spain right now. I trained as a sommelier in Madrid back in 1996 - 1997, which was a fascinating experience. I love serving up all I can from a country so rich in food, wine, and tradition.
More about the recipes:
The Escarole and pomegranate salad with Clementine vinaigrette is based on a traditional salad served in Spain around the holidays. I've substituted Clementines for the oranges normally used. Cool weather salad greens such as escarole and frisee are typical right now and, of course late fall is the season for Clementines and pomegranates. It is a festive, colorful salad that make a great counterpart to roasted meats.