GROW FOOD slow food Have your garden and eat it too. A practical guide to organic gardening in the sub-tropics with step-by-step instructions and delicious seasonal recipes. Come with me too on some of my travels in Australia, Europe, Asia and beyond.

My oldest friend lives in Spain.  We went to school together in the UK, she married a Spaniard and lives in Barcelona with her four children,  and I married in the UK and came to live in Australia as a young woman.  Over 20 years ago my husband and I took our kids on a big tour of Europe and stayed with them in Barcelona. My friend Gillian is a good cook (the longest emails we send to each other are about food!) which she studied at College and is emersed in the culture and food of where she lives – Catalan country.

When we stayed with them the children had a late afternoon snack, which was either this recipe or fantastic slice of strong bread wiped with a clove of garlic, smashed and smothered with a succulent ripe tomato, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt – no vegemite sandwiches for this lot!.  OR, this delicious grilled pepper salad with crusty bread. I have been making it regularly since and is a real winner.

4 ripe red capsicum, grilled with the skin removed
(to see how – go to this previous post)
1 fat clove of garlic sliced
About ten anchovies
1 tbs capers (I use pickled nasturtium seeds – see previous post)
Enough good olive oil to cover salad
Salt and pepper

Serve with good crusty bread and extra sea salt and black pepper.

Update from when I wrote this in 2012.  In 2016 we visited Barcelona again and caught up with our old friends.  We are now both busy cooking for our grandchildren as well as our adult children.  Gill seamlessly made us two fabulous meals – a cuttlefish and seafood stew and a rabbit casserole – both cooked in the Catalan style – quite delicious, and she still makes this capsicum dish.  We first knew each other when we were five – in 1955!

Me, Gill and Michael outside the fabulous Girona Cathedral, 100km north of Barcelona and well worth a visit.  Of course, it is a foodie haven and centre of the Spanish Slow Food movement.  We have been friends for over sixty years.