A large platter of greens studded with vegetables is a popular entrante (starter) in Spanish homes or restaurants. Depending on what you add to it (avocados, asparagus, corn kernels, etc.), it can be the meal itself. Feel free to customize it according to what you have on hand.
- 1 large head romaine lettuce, rinsed and spun dry
- 2 medium tomatoes, cored and quartered
- 1 medium seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and sliced into 1/4-inch strips
- 1/4 to 1/2 medium red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 medium carrot, peeled, trimmed, and grated
- One 6-ounce can premium water-packed tuna, drained
- One 14-ounce can water-packed artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
- 2 large hard-cooked eggs, peeled and quartered
- 1/2 cup pimento-stuffed green olives
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine or sherry vinegar, or more to taste
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
- Crusty bread or rolls, for serving (optional)
Tear the lettuce into bite-size pieces and arrange as a bed on a large platter with a deep well.
Arrange the tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, onion, and carrot decoratively on top.
Break the tuna into chunks with a fork and scatter evenly on top of the salad. Top with the artichoke hearts, eggs, and olives. (The undressed salad can be covered and refrigerated for an hour or two.)
Combine the olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl and whisk until emulsified. Taste, adding more oil, vinegar, or salt and pepper, if desired. Drizzle over the salad. Serve immediately with crusty bread, if desired.
Serves 4 to 6 — Recipe adapted from thespruce.com
This dish gets even better over time. Feel free to make it a day or two in advance and reheat slowly in the oven.
- 1 bottle of good-quality red wine, such as Beaujolais Nouveau
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 8 beef short ribs, each measuring about 4″ by 3″
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 12 shallots, peeled
- ½ cup best-quality Dijon mustard
- 1 28-ounce can of plum tomatoes
- Coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
In a nonreactive saucepan, reduce the wine by 75 percent and set aside. Heat a heavy skillet large enough to hold the short ribs. While the pan is getting hot, lightly dredge the ribs in the flour; shake off any excess. Add the olive oil to the hot pan and then the ribs, searing them on all sides.
Transfer the ribs to a bowl next to your cooktop and add the shallots to the skillet; cook them over low heat until tender and slightly caramelized. Then transfer them to a separate bowl next to your cooktop. Deglaze the pan with the reduced wine and whisk in the mustard. Return the ribs to the skillet, lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for two hours.
Drain the canned tomatoes, reserving the juice in case the sauce becomes too thick. Add the tomatoes to the skillet along with the shallots and simmer, partially covered, for another hour. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over egg noodles or mashed potatoes.
This classic tapas dish also makes a fantastic lunch or a light dinner!
- 2 pounds potatoes, boiled and cooled
- 1 white onion, diced
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, such as Pedro Ximénez Reserve
- Coarse salt to taste
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
- 8 ounces tuna (canned or freshly grilled)
Slice the potatoes into rounds, and place in a large shallow bowl.
Top with the onions, parsley, oil, and vinegar, and toss very lightly to avoid breaking the potatoes.
Sprinkle with salt, and then top with the eggs and tuna. Serve cold.
Yields 8 tapas or 4 main-dish servings.
The quintessential Greek salad isn’t complicated, but two important elements will make it memorable—true Greek Kalamata olives and freshly sliced slabs of feta, not those packaged crumbles. Purists say the melding of the olive oil and the juice of the tomatoes is all the dressing you need, enhanced by the best oregano. That’s why the squeeze of lemon juice is optional. Note: If you can’t find great beefsteak tomatoes, substitute two cups of hothouse cherry tomatoes, halved.
- 1 large cucumber
- 1/2 red onion
- 1/2 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and sliced into rings
- 2 large, ripe tomatoes, quartered
- 10 Greek Kalamata olives
- 2 3-ounce slices of Greek feta
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Dried oregano to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Coarse salt, like Maldon sea salt flakes, to taste
- 2 lemon wedges (optional)
Divide the ingredients evenly between two dinner plates or salad bowls in this order: Arrange the cucumber slices first and then layer on the red onions and green peppers. Space the tomato quarters and olives around the outside of the dish and place a slab of feta in the center. Drizzle on the olive oil and sprinkle on oregano and black pepper. Sprinkle the tomatoes lightly with the salt. Add a squeeze of lemon juice if desired.
Yields 2 servings.