“Just after the winter thaw, Basque fishermen make daytime trips to the riverbed, wading in the cool waters and catching trout with a rod, traditionally wrapping it in ferns to keep the skin moist,” says Marti Buckley, an Alabama-raised cook and writer living in San Sebastián, Spain, and author of the new cookbook Basque Country: A Culinary Journey Through a Food Lover’s Paradise.
Buckley draws connections between the Basque region on the border of Spain and France and the foodways of her native South—a love of stream-caught fish, pigs fed on acorns, and a deep appreciation for both the outdoors and literature. “Ernest Hemingway wrote about trout fishing in nearby Navarre,” she says, “And this dish is so simple and romantic, it just makes you want to run off and be like him.”
A tip: “Moister, mild jamón Serrano is used in this recipe,” Buckley says. “But you could also use the more luxurious jamón Ibérico.”