Sumac was long used in the Mediterranean to add tartness to dishes before the Romans introduced lemons. It gives an exotic “spice market” flavor to scrambled eggs.
- 6 large eggs
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted in a dry skillet
- 1 teaspoon ground sumac
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
- Warm flatbread such as pita or lavash
Gently beat eggs with a big pinch of salt and some pepper in a medium bowl with a fork. Heat oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the eggs and cook, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until they are barely set and still slightly runny (they will continue to cook after removal from the pan), about 1 minute. Immediately transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle with pine nuts, sumac, and parsley. Drizzle with olive oil and serve immediately with flatbread.
Serves 3 to 4 — Recipe from seriouseats.com
This is Spain’s answer to ratatouille, a platter of smoky, jewel-like vegetables in a simple olive oil and sherry vinaigrette. Serve on bread, with cheese, or with meat or fish.
- 2 medium yellow onions, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
- 2 red bell peppers
- 2 yellow or orange bell peppers
- 1 medium eggplant
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus 1/4 cup
- 2 teaspoons Spanish sherry vinegar Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Finely chopped chives, for garnish
Light a grill. In a large bowl, toss the onion slices and whole peppers and eggplant with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Place the vegetables on the grill, and cook, turning as needed, until charred and soft, 15 minutes for the onions, 20 minutes for the peppers, and 30 minutes for the eggplant. (Alternatively, roast the vegetables in the oven.)
Place the peppers and eggplant in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the vegetables stand for 15 minutes, and then uncover and peel; discard their skins, stems, and the seeds from the peppers.
Still in the bowl, use your hands to tear the peppers and eggplant into long strips, and then arrange them, alternating, on a platter with the onions. Mix the juices left behind in the bowl with the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil and the vinegar. Season with salt and pepper, and then drizzle the dressing over the vegetables. Sprinkle with chives before serving.
Serves 4 — Recipe from Saveur, June 27, 2015
A small restaurant on the road from Madrid to Jaén serves incredible lentil and chorizo soup. It might be my “favorite bite” of this trip.
- 1 3/4 cups lentils
- One cured chorizo (about 9 ounces), sliced
- 4 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
- One large potato, peeled and diced 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- Water or vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon Spanish smoked paprika (pimentón)
- Extra virgin olive oil for sautéing, plus extra for drizzling
- Salt to taste
Wash the lentils and remove any debris. Place the lentils, chorizo, whole garlic cloves, carrots, and potatoes in a large pot. Pour in enough water or vegetable stock to cover the ingredients by three ngers. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Let cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally.
Fry the onions in a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat until slightly browned, then add the Spanish paprika. Add the onions to the lentils and salt to taste. Cook for 45 minutes. Remove the garlic cloves; squeeze the garlic from its skin, and mash. Return the garlic to the pot. Serve immediately with extra olive oil for drizzling.
Serves 6 — Recipe adapted from food52.com
We’ve included two tricks to make this the best gambas al ajillo you’ve ever eaten. First, we infuse extra virgin olive oil with slices of garlic, which are later used as a crunchy garnish. Second, we marinate the shrimp with a secret ingredient—baking soda—to make the cooked shrimp extra “poppy.”
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided use
- 10 cloves garlic (5 thinly sliced, 5 minced), divided use
- 1 pound tail-on shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes, or more to taste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Spanish sherry vinegar
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Crusty bread, for serving
About 8 hours before you intend to cook, pour the olive oil into a small bowl. Add the thinly sliced garlic and let sit at room temperature. After 8 hours, strain the oil into another container, reserving the sliced garlic.
Place the shrimp in a medium bowl. Add the minced garlic, 3/4 teaspoon salt, baking soda, hot red pepper flakes, and 3 tablespoons of the garlic-infused oil. Set aside.
Heat the remaining infused oil in a large skillet or cazuela over medium-high heat. Add the sliced garlic and cook just until it is a light golden brown, about 1 minute. Fish the garlic out with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the shrimp mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the shrimp are barely cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes, depending on their size. Do not overcook. Stir in the sherry vinegar, parsley, reserved garlic slices, and salt to taste. Serve immediately with crusty bread for sopping up the juices.
Serves 2 as a main course; 4 as a tapa — Recipe adapted from seriouseats.com