Picada is a typical sauce from Catalonia, Spain. It is normally used, as a final touch, to thicken other sauces or season some dishes with meat, fish, vegetables or rice, for example.
There are several ways of preparing Catalan picada, but the Spanish traditional one usually has almond (or other nuts, such as hazelnuts), bread (or even sweet cookies) and some liquid (whether it is cooking juice, broth or water). However, other common ingredients that are usually added are garlic, saffron and parsley. Other ingredients more rarely used are chocolate, cinnamon, clove, cumin and cooked liver (of chicken or rabbit).
This is an easy recipe to prepare traditional Spanish picada:
- ¼ cup skinless almonds, roasted and slivered
- 1 slice of peasant bread, crusts removed
- 1 pinch of saffron threads
- 1 pinch of salt
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
- sprigs of parsley
- Preheat oven to 350 °F.
- Place the bread and almonds on a baking sheet and toast for about 8 minutes.
- Once they are toasted, sliver the almonds and cut the bread into cubes.
- Toast the saffron threads on a non-stick saucepan.
- In a mortar, grind the toasted saffron with a pinch of salt.
- Peel and slice the garlic.
- Add the garlic, almonds, bread and parsley to the mortar and grind until you get a thick paste.
- Then add to any dish mixed with a stew or juice and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until all the flavors are well mixed
If you want to addg other ingredients, you can use these quantities (in which case you could blend all the ingredients with the food processor):
1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped
⅛ tsp cinnamon
1 small pinch of aniseeds
1 small pinch of ground clove