What Is Zarangollo?

B. Turner

Zarangollo is a dish popular in the southeastern region of Spain. It is typically associated with the city of Murcia and the surrounding area, which sit on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. This egg-based dish comes in many varieties, which traditional versions heavily influenced by local ingredients found in this region. Outside of Spain, this meal may also be referred to as zarangollo Murciano, which reflects the origins of this dish.

Courgettes, which are used in making zarangollo.
Courgettes, which are used in making zarangollo.

To make zarangollo, chefs coat a pan with olive oil, then add an number of vegetables. The traditional version of this dish typically includes courgettes, a fruit native to the coast of Spain. The courgette is similar to a zucchini, which is another popular addition for zarangollo. Other options include squash, potatoes, brightly colored peppers, artichokes, and tomatoes. These vegetables differ based on the region, as people in Spain often take advantage of local produce each season rather than sticking to a strict recipe.

Eggs are one of the basic components in zarangollo.
Eggs are one of the basic components in zarangollo.

The grilled vegetables are then mixed with several raw eggs, which are allowed to cook for several minutes until they solidify. These eggs are not necessarily scrambled, but more often fried in with the rest of the ingredients. Some cooks may also add grilled onions or garlic for flavor, as well as oregano and black pepper. Parsley and chopped tomatoes may be used as a garnish.

Zarangollo shares many features with a similar Spanish dish known as pisto. Both contain eggs mixed with grilled vegetables. Pisto generally includes a larger quantity of tomatoes or tomato sauce, and is topped by a single fried egg, while the eggs are mixed in with the vegetable in a zarangollo dish. Pisto is also more common as a main dish, where it is served on top of bread or toast, while zarangollo is more common as a side.

This meal is most frequently served as an appetizer or side dish, but may also serve as a main dish. It's frequently found in Spanish-style tapas restaurants, where diners feast on small plates of food. It can also be found in Spanish restaurants around the world, particularly those that favor the Murcia style of cuisine. When used as a main course, the zarangollo is often placed atop a base of fresh, crusted bread. It's also popular alongside seafood dishes, particularly in Murcia, where fish from the Mediterranean is a staple in the local diet.

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