Crisp, garlicky chicken is the delicious centerpiece of this home-style Catalan meal
Chefs from Catalonia, in the northeastern corner of Spain, have lately gotten a lot of attention worldwide for their hyper-experimental food, from olive oil ice cream to octopus foam. But the region’s home cooks deserve their own share of fame: the cuisine is honest, upfront and delicious, making good use of the local ingredients, including olive oil, garlic, parsley, nuts, roasted peppers and sea salt, to name a few. This menu introduces you to some of those classic dishes, such as romesco sauce and sautéed spinach with pine nuts and raisins. The main event is chicken thighs baked with fresh herbs and lemon, and rubbed with a delicious condiment called allioli, which is like garlic mayonnaise but without the egg. To finish the meal, take a cue from Catalan home cooks and choose an assortment of perfectly ripe, preferably locally grown in-season fruit: a big, juicy peach, a fragrant wedge of melon, a lush pear or a bowl of berries — a pleasure so simple and yet so often overlooked.