The cook: Ryan Bartlow
Its restaurants: Ernesto is in New York City.
What he is known for: Cook Spanish classics without compromise. A tribute to regional traditions. Raise the tapas game in New York.
AS A YOUNG COOK Ryan Bartlow happened upon the cookbook “El Bulli” by the Spanish molecular restaurateur Ferran AdriÃ and was duly enthusiastic. “I’ve never seen a meal like this,” he said of the avant-garde recipes. Mr. Bartlow made his way to a three Michelin-starred restaurant outside of San SabastiÃ¡n, where he cooked complicated meals for a year.
However, while he was there, the Spanish cuisine that captured his heart was more home-made. Now he’s serving rustic classics at Ernesto’s in Manhattan, like this chilled soup with hard-boiled eggs and tuna pickled in olive oil, a version of the southern Spanish salmorejo. “It’s humble food,” said Mr. Barlow of his first slow food fast recipe. “It has a soul.”
Made from tomatoes, garlic, onions, and toasted bread, it’s a little thicker than gazpacho. The ingredients sit together in a bowl until the bread absorbs all the juices. A quick flash in the mixer results in a creamy soup.
The bread provides the necessary body to support the toppings. âThe egg should be hard-boiled for texture. And the tuna should stay in large flakes, âsaid Mr. Barlow. “You should sit on the soup, not sink into it.”
With such a simple recipe, high quality ingredients count. We are finally in the season when tomatoes are really beautiful; treat yourself to good olive oil and vinegar. Mr Bartlow’s advice on this recipe sums up his approach pretty well overall: “Everything should be good and kept simple.”
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This tomato, garlic, onion, and toasted bread soup is a little thicker than gazpacho. The ingredients sit together in a bowl until the bread absorbs all the juices. A quick flash in the mixer results in a creamy soup
- Â¼ baguette, cut into about five 1-inch rounds
- Â½ cup of olive oil, plus more for brushing bread and garnishing soup
- 4 ripe beefsteak tomatoes, pitted and quartered
- Â½ yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons of sherry vinegar, plus more to taste
- Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon honey (optional)
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
- 3 ounces of tuna pickled in olive oil, drained
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush the bread generously with olive oil on both sides. Arrange the slices on a baking sheet and bake for about 5 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
- In a large bowl, mix toasted bread with tomatoes, onions, garlic, Â½ cup of oil and vinegar. Season with a generous pinch of salt and let the mixture rest for at least 15 minutes until the bread softens and absorbs the tomato juice.
- Puree all ingredients in a blender to a smooth mass. With the engine running, instill honey if used. As soon as the soup is thick, even and creamy, pour into a bowl and season with more salt, vinegar and oil. Refrigerate until completely cooled.
- To serve, arrange soup in bowls and garnish with tuna flakes and eggs. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and serve immediately.
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âKitty Greenwald is the cook, food writer, and co-writer of Slow Fires (Clarkson Potter)
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