Our favourite ingredient of the moment is the Spanish version of black pudding, morcilla.
Spain’s answer to our black pudding is a mile from the slice you’ll get with your fry-up. It’s a spiced blood sausage, delicate, with a gentle tang. Recipes vary across Spain from the loose, rice-flecked morcilla from Burgos, to morcilla de arroz, the variety made with onion and rice.
Morcilla, pronounced mor-thee-ya, is generally much less firm than our British black pudding (try the ‘Bury’ variety if you can find it), and as such is great for stirring through dishes.
Try it in fried potatoes with a poached egg and parsley, or tossed through lentils with finely chopped red onion, shaved fennel, mint and dill with a nice punchy cider vinegar dressing. It crumbles through, lending its flavour to the whole dish without overpowering.
Another favourite way to serve morcilla is stuffed into squid – a classic combination. If you’re one of those who can’t bear the idea of black pudding, then morcilla may be for you – most people visiting Spain will try it and love it before they know what’s gone into it.
It’s worth sourcing a good one – try www.brindisa.com for a tasty version. They freeze well too – so when you get them, freeze them into batches of two for quick and easy use.