The “Fiestas de las Cruces”

(Festival of the Crosses) or Cruz de Mayo (May Cross) is a holiday celebrated on 3rd of May in many parts of Spain. Religiously, the festival is rooted in the search for the cross on which Jesus died, but the popular traditions connected to the festival certainly originate from pagan traditions brought to Spain by the Roman Empire.

The most famous festivities are in Granada and Cordoba. If you can’t travel that far – never mind! You can enjoy the celebrations in the Santa Cruz neighbourhood in Alicante! This month we are going to make two traditional dishes served during Cruz de Mayo, one originating from Granada and the other from Cordoba.

1kg Beans
2 x Garlic Cloves
1 x Bay Leaf
1 x Slice of Bread (one day old)
1 x Egg
1 x Teaspoon of Cumin
1 x Teaspoon of Paprika
1 x Teaspoon of Vinegar
200g x Serrano Ham
Olive oil, water, & Salt

In a pan fry the bread and sauté one garlic with the skin still on. Put aside. In the same pan sauté the beans and bay leaf for 2 minutes, then add Serrano ham for a further 2 minutes and then add paprika.

Crush the garlic, salt and cumin in a mortar to make a paste.

When the paprika is sautéd, add the paste with a little bit of water.

Cover, turn the heat down and cook for 20 minutes.

Crush the bread with vinegar and water.

Then add to the pan and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the egg and poach for few minutes. Enjoy!