Easter Eggs and Semana Santa

Ready For Feria de Abril, Sevilla   

Spanish Table Seattle Newsletter                                                                  April 21, 2011

Not unusually, my Easter celebrations as a child involved hunting for colored eggs. My Dad liked an excuse to give us money, so he’d write prices on a few eggs, hide them, and the finder could redeem them for a quarter or even a dollar!  Later that evening, we’d sit down to a baked ham and scalloped potato dinner with my extended family. Easter in Spain is one of the most somber and dramatic holidays, especially during Semana Santa. Sevilla and many other cities shut down for the week proceeding Easter and religious penitents march in processions through the streets until Easter Sunday. The music of Semana Santa is as serious as its subject, the crucifixion. The central song is the Saeta. Sung from balconies to the processions of penitents below, it starts with a moan, descends into a lament and ends in a groan. Often grouped with this music is Misas Flamencas, flamenco music which is performed in a religious context.    Two weeks later, Sevilla completely switches gears and closes down again for the Feria de Abril, a joyous week of music and dancing Sevillanas, one of the most glorious events of the year!   One of my best trips to Spain was to the Feria with my dance class… a week of dancing, tapas, and non-stop fun with an exceptional group of flamenco afficiandos.


2009 Señorio de Garci Grande Verdejo, Rueda ($15.99) This fresh white has aromas of pear and green apple with hints of anise. There’s a noticeable weight on the palate, along with flavors of melon, citrus and herbs.   The zesty finish is clean and long. Delicious! 

2006 Abadia Retuerta Rívola, Sardon de Duero ($15.99) This isn’t a new wine on our shelves, but the 2006 vintage is so tasty that we bought up a quantity before it runs out. 60% Tempranillo and 40% Cabernet, Rívola brims with juicy red and black fruit.  Notes of cedar, spice and herbs are given lift by abundant minerals. Full-bodied, with firm tannins from 12 months barrel aging,  this savory red has a fresh and lingering finish. Highly recommended!

Special wines arrived today!

2006 Aalto, Ribera del Duero ($58.00) Aalto is a partnership between Mariano Garcia, renowned former winemaker at Vega Sicilia and Javier Zaccagnini, former President of Ribera del Duero’s governing body. “Sexy, highly complex bouquet of blackberry, blueberry, truffle and smoked meat, with a sexy floral undertone. Weighty yet graceful, offering sweet dark berry flavors and suave candied violet and clove qualities. Impressively fresh and focused wine, with strong finishing spiciness and a lingering note of dark berry preserves-and drinking well right now.” 92 points Stephen Tanzer

2006 Aalto PS, Ribera del Duero ($120.00) “The glass-staining 2006 Aalto PS was aged for 32 months in 70% new French oak. It emits a super-expressive aromatic array of pain grille, crushed stone, lavender, spice box, and blackberry. Firm and structured on the palate, it has a boatload of intense, succulent, spicy fruit, ripe tannin, and impeccable balance. Drink this lengthy, powerful effort from 2016 to 2036.” 96 points Wine Advocate

2007 Chryseia, Douro ($50.00)  The 2003 Chryseia was one of the best Portuguese reds we’ve ever tasted, and thus when we were offered a case of the spectacular 2007 vintage, we jumped on it. It sold out so quickly that we got the only case in the Northwest from the first shipment. Another shipment may arrive in the future, but don’t wait if you love powerful, complex, Portuguese reds! “Pure and brambly, showing fresh, up-front aromas of raspberry and plum, with flavors to match. There’s a well-defined minerally essence to this, followed by a long finish of vanilla and cream, with hints of French roast. Drink now through 2014. 2,965 cases made.” 93 points Wine Spectator


Friday April 22 is Earth Day. The Pike Place Market has teamed up with The Nature Conservancy for Picnic For The Planet. 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM.

Flamenco de Raiz, direct from Spain, performs at Kirkland Performance Center on April 29 and 30th, and on May 1 at Sleeping Lady Theater, Leavenworth WA. Don’t miss this if you are an afficiando of flamenco puro!


Brightly dyed, hard-boiled eggs have to be disposed of after the Easter egg hunt. Spanish tapa bars show great inventiveness in creating the gourmet hard boiled eggs. Alioli or romesco sauces can be mixed with the mashed yolk of a hard boiled egg and then used to refill the white. A sprinkle of smoky La Vera pimentón, paprika made in Spain from red peppers dried slowly over oak wood fires, and a dusting of minced parsley add the finishing touches. Here is something, actually two things, a little more complex because we use the whites for one tapa and the yolks for another.


Makes 24 tapas

¼ teaspoon Sweet smoked pimentón

½ cup Mayonnaise (commercial or homemade)

½ pound Baby Shrimp Meat

1 dozen Hard-boiled eggs

12 Lemon stuffed olives, cut in half lengthwise for garnish

Combine the first three ingredients. Half the eggs and remove the yolks. Fill the cavity in the egg halves with the shrimp mixture. Top with a lemon stuffed olive. ¡Ole!


At this point you are looking at a dozen left-over egg yolks. Use them to make Montaditos, two dozen little open faced sandwiches.

12 Hard-boiled egg yolks

¼ cup Romesco sauce (commercial or homemade)

½ cup Alioli  (garlic mayonnaise – commercial or homemade)

pinch Salt

grind Black Pepper

24 slices Small Baguette

24 Ripe olives, pitted (optional)

2 tablespoons Minced Parsley (alternative)

In a large yellow mortar, mash the yolks, romesco and alioli into a paste. Cover each of the bread slices with this mixture. Top with an olive or sprinkle with minced parsley.  

One more!  Click Basque for chef Gerald Hirogyen’s shrimp and egg skewer recipe.


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Filed under Events, Recepies, Red Wine, Travel

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