Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

Bikini Sandwiches

Back in the 1950s, the Barcelona nightclub La Sala Bikini started serving croque monsieur, the French grilled ham and cheese sandwich. Because the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco didn’t allow French (or English) words in the lexicon, it was simply called the home sandwich, but patrons soon referred to it as the Bikini. Delicious when made with quintessential Spanish foods, it can also be personalized with other ingredients you have on hand.


  • 4 large slices of crusty bread
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces Manchego, Ibérico cheese, or provolone, very thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces Ibérico chorizo or jamón, thinly sliced
  • jarred piquillo peppers, drained, seeded, and slivered
  • Spanish orange blossom honey


Brush one side of each bread slice with olive oil and build the sandwiches on two of the slices, layering on half the cheese, the meat, the peppers, and the rest of the cheese. Drizzle on some honey and then top with the remaining bread slices. Brush the outsides of the bread liberally with olive oil. Grill the sandwiches in a panini press or on a heated griddle until the cheese melts. If using a griddle, press down the sandwiches with a cast iron pan or other heavy pan for 5 minutes, flip and repeat. Transfer the sandwiches to a cutting board and cut into slices.

Serves 2 (4 as tapas)

Lamb Merguez Meatballs

Highly spiced lamb merguez is traditionally a dish from North Africa, just across the Mediterranean from Spain. To add a Spanish influence, orange zest is included with the other aromatics, and the finished meatballs are drizzled with a citrus sauce.


For the spice mix:

  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 4 teaspoons pimentón
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

For the herb-lemon sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons of the spice mix
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, packed
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea), to taste

For the meatballs:

  • Rest of the spice mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided use
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea or kosher salt, or to taste
  • 2 pounds ground lamb


Step 1

Heat a small skillet over medium-low heat. When warm, add the cumin, fennel, and coriander seeds and toast until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the seeds to a spice or coffee grinder and grind to a powder. Transfer to a large bowl, then add the pimentón, cayenne, and black pepper, and mix.

Step 2

Make the sauce: Place 2 tablespoons of the mix in the work bowl of a food processor along with
the garlic, parsley, mint, lemon juice, and zest; process until a paste forms. With the food processor running, add the olive oil and process until emulsified. Taste and season with salt if desired.

Step 3

Make the meatballs: To the large bowl with the spice mix, add the cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of olive oil, whisking well. Fold in the orange zest, garlic, parsley, and salt. Then add the ground lamb and use your hands (you may want to run them under cold water first) to distribute the seasonings evenly. Chill for 30 minutes to make the meatballs easier to form, then shape them into 1 1/2- to 2-inch balls.

Step 4

Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil and one even layer of meatballs (you may need to sauté in batches). Use tongs to brown them on all sides, rotating until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Drizzle with the sauce and serve.

Serves 4 (8 as tapas)

Chicken Kebabs with Hot Honey (Pinxtos/Pinchos)

Is it just us, or does food served on skewers taste better? We have made these kebabs with chicken thighs (our favorite), breasts, and tenders. You could even use boneless pork if that’s what you have on hand. Serve with crusty bread and sliced tomatoes or a green salad dressed with extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper.


For the marinade:

  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange or lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt (kosher or sea), or more to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric (optional)
  • 1 scant teaspoon pimentón
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

For the kebabs:

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, breasts, or tenderloins, each cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 ounces Spanish cured chorizo, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch coins


Step 1

In a large, nonreactive bowl, whisk together the honey, red pepper flakes, water, juice, and salt. Stir in the garlic, turmeric if using, pimentón, coriander, and cumin. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until emulsified. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours.

Step 2

Assemble the kebabs: Thread 2 or 3 pieces of chicken on a small (6- to 8-inch) bamboo skewer, followed by a piece of chorizo. Repeat the pattern until you’ve used all the meat. Heat a grill pan or plancha (griddle) over medium-high heat. Oil generously with olive oil. Grill the kebabs until the chicken is cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. (You can also cook the kebabs on an outdoor grill.) Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Trinxat de Col (Potato and Cabbage Cakes with Bacon)

Think of this as a kind of Spanish potato pancake—comfort food at its best, with potatoes, cabbage (or kale), and bacon. Traditionally, it’s served as a frying pan–sized cake. But individual servings are easier to manage and look beautiful on a plate.


  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
  • 4 medium-size russet potatoes (each about 10 ounces), peeled
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped Napa cabbage, kale, or Swiss chard leaves (stems removed)
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided use, more as needed
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons potato starch or cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 strips bacon, roughly chopped


Step 1

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes and the cabbage; cook until both are tender, about 40 to 50 minutes. Drain, then add 2 tablespoons (or more) extra virgin olive oil. Mash with a potato masher. Let cool slightly, then incorporate the egg and potato starch. Season with the pepper and additional salt, as needed. Form into firm patties, each about 3/4 inch thick and 2 1/2 inches in diameter.

Step 2

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon pieces and set aside. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the hot pan. Sauté the potato-and-cabbage patties on each side, turning with a thin-bladed spatula, until golden brown. Transfer to a platter or plates, then top with bacon. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6