Zucchini was introduced to the Iberian Peninsula by the Arabs and is a specialty of Murcia. The following recipe, though simple, makes a great accompaniment to roasted chicken or grilled meats. It is important to keep the heat low to achieve a soft, delicate texture. You can turn the zarangollo into a meal by the addition of scrambled or olive oil-fried eggs.
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 pounds zucchini, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 Spanish onions, peeled and diced
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
Heat a large skillet and one-half of the olive oil over low heat. Add the
zucchini cubes and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for
about 30 minutes, or until soft and jammy. Drain any excess liquid.
In the meantime, add the remaining oil to a second skillet. Over low heat, cook the onions and garlic for 10 minutes. Add the oregano, and continue to cook for 5 to 10 minutes more, or until the onions are golden and soft.
Combine the zucchini and onion mixtures in a serving bowl and stir gently. Serve warm or at room temperature. Leftovers can be covered and refrigerated for up to two days.
Serves 6 — Recipe adapted from food.com
We love the unexpected combination of dark chocolate, ripe bananas, and olive oil in this visually-appealing skillet dessert. Top, if desired, with whipped cream or a scoop of premium vanilla ice cream, the latter drizzled with a bit of olive oil.
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa, regular or Dutch process
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt (kosher or sea)
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 cups very ripe bananas (2 to 3), mashed to a smooth purée with a fork
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup (4 ounces) coarsely chopped dark chocolate
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
- Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously butter or grease with olive oil a 10-inch enameled or well-seasoned cast iron skillet, or a 9×5 loaf pan. (If your skillet isn’t well-seasoned, you can line the bottom with a round of parchment paper.)
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt.
In a separate bowl, mix together the olive oil, eggs, mashed banana, sour cream, and vanilla. Pour the banana mixture into the flour mixture and fold with a spatula just until combined. Fold in the chocolate and pecans (if using), again just until combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared skillet.
Bake until golden brown and a toothpick or knife inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean, about 28 to 35 minutes (start checking at about 22 minutes for doneness). Let cool in the skillet for about 20 to 30 minutes. Cut into wedges. Serve warm or at room temperature straight from the pan, topped, if desired, with whipped cream or ice cream. (If using a loaf pan, the baking time will be closer to 55 to 65 minutes. Let the bread cool in the loaf pan for about 10 to 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the pan and invert the bread onto a cooling rack.)
Serves 8 — recipe from Food52.com
Spain’s southeastern coast yields huge, sweet shrimp called gambas. Here, these succulent crustaceans are treated simply—sautéed with olive oil, thinly sliced garlic, and lemon juice.
- 12 raw jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (optional)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- Fresh lemon juice, plus wedges for serving
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels; season with sea salt, black pepper, and hot red pepper flakes, if using.
Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the extra virgin olive oil. Let the oil warm for 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the shrimp in a single layer. Let the shrimp cook for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, then turn and sauté the second side.
Drizzle with a few drops of lemon juice and stir to combine. Cook for an additional 30 seconds, but do not overcook the shrimp. Tip onto an attractive serving platter and top with the parsley. Arrange lemon wedges around the shrimp for serving.
Serves 4 as a tapa or 2 as a main course — Recipe adapted from spainonafork.com
Piquillo peppers are grown in the town of Lodosa, Navarre, Spain. Their name translates to “little beak,” as their pointy tips resemble a bird’s beak. Mild in fl avor and similar to bell peppers in texture, they are generally sold jarred in brine or olive oil. They’re perfect for stuffing or roasting.
- 1 medium eggplant, sliced into 1-inch-thick rounds
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for coating a frying pan
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 to 4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup sherry vinegar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano
- One 12-ounce jar grilled piquillo peppers, drained and patted dry
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- 2 ounces cream cheese
- Thick toasts made from your choice of bread, such as a baguette
Roast the eggplant directly over a gas flame, turning occasionally, until charred all over and soft, about 12 minutes. (Alternatively, halve the eggplant lengthwise and roast at 425°F until tender, about 30 minutes.) Transfer to a colander and let cool slightly, then peel and let cool completely.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, cook the garlic in the oil over medium heat until sizzling, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vinegar, honey, rosemary, oregano, and minced parsley. Season the vinaigrette generously with salt and pepper.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet filmed with olive oil. In batches if necessary, add the piquillos to the skillet in an even layer. Cook over high heat, turning once, until lightly charred on both sides, about 2 minutes total. Add the piquillos to the warm vinaigrette and let cool completely.
In a food processor, combine the eggplant with both cheeses and purée until smooth. Scrape into a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Spread the whipped eggplant on toasts, and using a slotted spoon, spoon some of the marinated piquillos on top. Garnish with chopped parsley.
Serves 4 to 6 as a tapa — Recipe from Food and Wine, May 2016