Here in the Costa Cálida, where so many vegetables are grown, you may wonder why you do not get fresh vegetables with your meal when eating out. Of course most of the vegetables are exported to places like the UK, where you can find anything from lettuce and tomatoes to cauliflower and broccoli.

Here in Spain, they have a very different approach to vegetables. They are mainly served as a separate course, or in soups. They very rarely served them with the main course; if you are lucky enough to get any, they will either be over-cooked and anaemic-looking or you may possibly get a roasted green or red pepper! The Spanish are very fond of salads though and they usually produce a very fresh-looking salad to be eaten before the first course is served, especially if you are partaking of a ‘menu del dia’. If you are a vegetarian, it is always wise to check at restaurants and bars to see if they do authentic vegetarian meals. Most of them will be pleased to serve you a dish of vegetables and of course there is always the ever-faithful ‘tortilla’, but there is a limit to the number of those you can eat over the week!