Celebrating local produce.


Over a year ago I received an email from a lady in the U.K, who was planning a holiday to my area the Montes de Malaga, infact just down the ‘Mount’ and would be celebrating her 50th birthday with friends , she wanted an evening of celebrations..Could I do this  ? Of course I could !

The terrace of La Rosilla (my home) is a perfect setting for something special, unique & delicious.

I was given free rein of the menu, with the only stipulation being ‘ we want to taste Andalucia ‘ Could I do this ? Of course I could.

Surrounded by local produce of the best, Chorizo, Morcilla & Jamon, created in Colmenar, Almonds , Oranges & olives  grown on my land a Traditional mountain Menu, was born.

Seasonal watermelon was pureed and mixed with lime & white rum & mint for a welcoming Mojito, served with my infamous Beetroot gazpacho Shots & figs off my tree, stuffed with Goats cheese & drizzled with local honey.

Beetroot Gazpacho Shots

The view was absorbed and as the sunset, and chicadas grew quieter the feasting began.

Chickpeas were braised with Chorizo & spinach, and Morcilla sautéed with apple, onion & cumin, a dish that converts anyone into a ‘Black pudding’ lover.

I share with you below the recipe for the main, ‘Lentejas con Jamon y Fino’ lentils braised with cured ham and sherry, a hearty accompaniment with a deep earthy taste, this was topped with quail roasted in garlic, giving an impressive looking dish.

I baked plums from the mountain, with cinnamon, butter & orange flower water, along with a traditional whole orange & almond tort.

The night grew dark, fairy lights came on, tee lights were lit, conversation flowed, cava was sipped, birthday cake sparklers were enjoyed, and ‘Cumpleaños Feliz’ sang & a lasting memory made.

Lentejas con Jamon y Fino

Quail on ‘Lentejas Con Jamon y Fino’

lentils are a Spanish store cupboard ingredient, my favourite the Pardina lentil is dark green in colour, (similar to the Puy lentil of France) and has a deep earthy flavour, boiled to cook with a bay leaf or two, they retain their shape and texture and are delicious stirred into many dishes.


  • 250g Pardina lentils, rinsed and put in a saucepan with dbl qty of cold water and 2 bay leaves, bring to the boil & then simmer for 25 mins. Drain & reserve a cup of cooking liquor.
  • Olive oil to saute & serve
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 2 sticks of celery diced
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • Tin of plum toms, chopped
  • 1 tsp of Pimenton Dulce
  • Glass of dry sherry or white wine
  • Jamon chopped – or you could use chopped pancetta
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds.
  • salt flakes (I use maldon) & fresh black pepper.

In a large sauce pan saute the carrot, onion celery until softened but not coloured.

Add the garlic & carraway seeds and saute gently for 2-3 mins.

Add the jamon and stir for a min, or so. then add paprika.

Pour in the sherry and let everything bubble for a minute, to cook of alcohol.

Add tomatoes, then stir in cooked lentils.

It should be a thick sauce consistency, add the reserved lentil water to if it looks to dry.

Add salt & pepper to taste – Simmer very gently for 10 mins.

When ready to serve add fresh chopped parsley, & drizzle with olive oil.

You can topped with hard-boiled eggs, for a economical supper, or top with roast chicken.

3 responses »

  1. Pingback: 50th Birthday at La Rosilla | La Rosilla - Catering

  2. What a wonderful birthday the lady must have had! You certainly introduced her to the Taste of Andalucía with your menu 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe. I love cooking with lentils – they are so healthy.

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