Wow. WOW. You think you know spanish food, and then you are surprised by a salad. A salad! A SALAAAAAD!
Outside Italy, I consider salad basically a decoration for the table, when they bring me some. But that night in Madrid (oooops, Alcorcón), pretty hungry notwithstanding the 45 degrees, I asked for the forgiveness of the god of salads for my disrespectful behaviour: it was just excellent.
The place where my relationship with salads changed forever is the typical bar around the corner, nothing really remarkable from the outside, until you try the food. First, what you get with your drink is a surprise, and I was warned to never ever ask for something in particular. You just get what the cook wants you to eat, that's it. And it is always to die for. Then there are two scenarios (and I experienced both):
1) you decide to only eat the tapas that come with your drink. You are hungry, so you drink a lot, and if you manage to make it to the bed without assistance you deserve all my respect, because I never did
2) you did what is described in option 1 already a few times, so now experience made you wise, and you ask for a succulent:
Lettuce (2 plants)
1 red pepper
canned tuna belly
dressing number one:
2 garlic cloves
dressing number two:
Place the red pepper in the oven and roast it at 200 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Place it in a bag and leave to rest 5 minutes, then peel it and cut it into stripes.
Cut the lettuce in quarter, wash it and dry it thoughtfully. Chop the almonds and the garlic cloves in tiny bits, then pan-fry the mix at low fire with two teaspoons of oil EVO. Let it cool down, then place the mix into a mortar, add some more oil EVO and the cumin to make an emulsion. Lastly, place 3 spoons of balsamic vinegar and one spoon of honey in a pan and bring to boil.
Compose the plate with rep pepper stripes and tuna belly on one side, the lettuce on the other and the two dressings on top.