Recipe boliches del pilar
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Boliches del Pilar con Sardinas

This recipe is unknown to many Spaniards, but it is an Aragonese dish closely linked — as its name indicates — to the festival of the Virgin of Pilar, the Patron Saint of Zaragoza.

Upon mentioning its name and looking to find out what a "boliche" is, perhaps you have all found it a bit strange that it can be a "small ball", a "furniture decoration" or a variety of "inferior" tobacco. But, don’t worry; the boliches which we are looking for aren’t any of these things. We’re actually talking about a type of white bean that got its name because it bears a small mark where the stem and the pod join (that part which looks like a seam) that resembles the shape of the Virgin of Pilar.

The best part of this dish is that, as a kind of homage, the main ingredients are boliches; but, if you can’t find them, you can use any variety of white bean.

Now that this matter has been cleared up, we will describe the recipe: you will need boliches(or beans), salted sardines, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, bay leaves and chives.


Leave the beans to soak for eight hours. Once this time has passed, put them in another pan with fresh water, add the bay leaves and garlic and leave them to boil for an hour over a low heat. Meanwhile, cover the sardines in paper and crush them to remove the scales, next break them apart, coat them with flour and fry them.

To one side, grind the chives with the sun-dried tomatoes and add oil to make a kind of vinaigrette.

All that is left to do is to put all the different parts together on a dish and serve it up. And you’re done! It’s a dish which can be enjoyed during the next festival of Pilar. Bon appétit!