Many, many moons ago I was invited to cycle out to some villages around the city of Zaragoza by a couple of work colleagues. First I had to cycle to Zaragoza alone, from the village where I lived, and then we cycled together out the other side of the city to visit the villages they had mentioned. It was always going to be a long day!
I have always pushed a big gear, preferring to pedal slowly using my strength rather then spinning my legs like a windmill and using less force. If you have been watching the Tour of France these last couple of weeks you will have seen that the windmill technique is the preferred approach! The work colleagues noticed my unorthodox style and stated that I would not be able to cycle the entire route as I was. Never one to decline a challenge, I did in fact prove them wrong and never once changed into a lower gear.
On returning back to the city, I had of course to cycle back to the village alone. Cycling in a peloton is normally the best way to cycle, one can travel at a good speed with each person taking their turn on the front of the group, working hard and sheltering those behind. If however one is feeling a little weary then it is often better to wend one’s way back alone, choosing one’s own pace. On this occasion I was in fact glad to be on my own.
About half way back I felt a little parched and decided to stop and fill my water bottles. Most Spanish towns have drinking fountains. The water is certified as being safe to drink although, but they don’t certify that it actually tastes like water! Trust me, there are some really foul tasting water fountains out there…..
The other problem is finding the drinking fountain. In a small village it can be fairly quick to find, in a larger town it can take quite some time. In this case I ran out of patience and knocked on the door of a couple who were work colleagues of mine. Luckily they were in and they offered me some water.
The lady of the house, Esperanza, could see that it had been a long morning on the bicycle, she saw my weariness and offered me some of the rice salad she had just prepared. It was like manna from heaven and I had soon finished off quite a large helping. With my strength renewed and full water bottles I was soon on my way again and back in my own village.
I had enjoyed the rice salad so much I asked Esperanza for the recipe and soon we had a batch prepared at home. I had assumed that the cycle ride and subsequent hunger had made it taste better than it actually was, but I was wrong. It tasted just as good the second time as it had the first and this salad has now become a regular meal at home.
Given that we are in summer and the weather is hot I thought I would share this salad recipe with you all. It is quick and easy to make and a little different from the typical lettuce based salads. Here then is Esperanza’s rice salad.
Serves 8 people
2 Bay leaf
1 Salad onion.
1 Garlic clove
8 Crab sticks
200g Soused tuna, flaked
120ml Tomato sauce
Scald the tomatoes in boiling water, drain then put into cold water to cool.
Cook the rice with the bay leaves. Once cooked, rinse the rice under boiling water then drain well and leave to cool.
Cook the prawns in boiling water until done.
Finely chop the onion, tomatoes, carrots and garlic.
Roughly chop the lettuce.
Chop the carb sticks.
Flake the tuna.
Mix all the ingredients together.
Add in the mayonnaise and tomato sauce.
Stir gently until mixed.
Adjust the seasoning and serve.
Please not that the tomato sauce is not ketchup, but rather a cooked tomato sauce that you might use on a pasta dish. There are plenty of tins on the market or you can make your own.
tsp – Teaspoon – 5ml
tbsp – Tablespoon – 15ml
2016 Lincoln W. Betteridge