Loquat & Ginger Juice (without juicer)

One of the many advantages of living in Spain is that even if you live in a big city you are bound to know someone who either has a second home in the mountains or by the sea, has a village they go back to often or has some patch of land where they grow fruits and vegetables. The plus point of this is that you are more than likely going to receive bulks of homegrown produce for free. On this particular occasion, I received a sack of loquats from some friends who have a beautiful second house in the mountains with a large kitchen garden. Shout out to Isthar & Miguel, thanks ever so much my lovelies! My first idea when confronted with this ridiculous amount of loquats was to make loquat juice because it is not something that is common to find in juice form.

This recipe is aimed at those people (like me) who do not have a juicer. This is what I call the traditional method of making juice which involves a blender and a cheesecloth. If you don’t even have a blender you can squash the fruit with a fork or even a pestle and mortar. There is no need to actually peel the fruits but I find that it is easier to extract the juice from the fruit as there’ll be less “waste” to deal with later.

Loquats are not very common in the UK but they are big in Spain and I hear that they are extremely popular in California. They taste like a cross between a peach and an apricot. The only downside of the fruit is that the season is very short!

If you choose to peel the fruits before making the juice, this is the way I tackle the task:

1 Cut either end off and make an incision from the top to the bottom of the fruit.

2 Pull the fruit apart.

3 Take out the seeds and peel. The peel should come off easily and in one go.

How to peel loquat

To make the juice

Ingredients

Loquats, peeled

Large piece fresh ginger (no need to peel)

Method

1 Blend the loquats and ginger into a puree. If you want a loquat smoothie you can leave it like this or add some milk of your choice or yoghurt.

Loquat & Ginger Juice 1

2 Place a fine mesh sieve on top of a jug and line with a cheesecloth. Pour the loquat and ginger puree and using the back of a spoon or a pestle stir the puree. When most juice has filtered into the jug, gather all sides of the cheesecloth and twist into a ball; gently squeeze all the juice out.

Loquat & Ginger Juice 2

3 Once you have extracted as much of the juice, place in refrigerator and chill for a few hours before serving, unless you are partial to warm juice.

Feel free to add sugar, honey or any other sweetener of your choice but I prefer to enjoy the natural sweetness/tartness of the fruit.

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Conejo al ajillo (Spanish Garlic Rabbit)

If you don’t like garlic, look away as this dish is packed with garlic; just remember to have some mints handy if you need to socialize afterwards. This is probably one of the most popular and traditional ways to make rabbit in Spain but fear not if you are squeamish about rabbit as you can easily substitute it with chicken; in fact Pollo al ajillo (Garlic Chicken) is also very popular.

Ingredients

1/2 rabbit, cut into pieces

Salt & pepper, to taste

1 whole head garlic

4 garlic cloves, medium-thickly sliced

2 bay leaves

2 tsp. dried thyme (or stick of fresh thyme)

2 tsp. dried rosemary

2 small parsley stalks

1 glass white wine

1 glass water

Method

1 Season rabbit with salt and pepper and then fry along with the whole garlic head until the garlic head is soft and the rabbit has browned on both sides. When the rabbit is half cooked, add the bay leaves, rosemary and thyme.

Conejo al ajillo 1

2 Once the garlic head is soft, remove and peel (or squeeze out the flesh). Place garlic cloves in a pestle and mortar along with the fresh parsley and pound. Add white wine and mix well.

Conejo al ajillo 2

3 Add garlic slices to the rabbit and then add the pounded garlic and parsley mix along with a glass of water.

4 Cook on a medium heat until the liquid has practically evaporated.

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