Common in tapas bars throughout Spain, this mushroom appetizer can be served on its own as a tapa or as a side dish with beefsteak. It can be made up to a day in advance: cover, refrigerate, and reheat. Add the lemon juice and parsley just before serving.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced or minced
- 1 small dried red chile, crumbled, or 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 pounds mushrooms, wiped clean, stems trimmed, cut in half
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 cup dry white wine or fino sherry
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy nonstick skillet. Add the garlic and chile or red pepper flakes. When the garlic begins to sizzle (about 30 seconds), add the mushrooms and turn the heat to medium high. Cook, stirring, until they sear and begin to sweat, then sprinkle them with salt and add the white wine or sherry. Turn the heat down to medium, and continue to cook, stirring or tossing in the pan from time to time, until the mushrooms are tender, five to 10 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and parsley, taste and adjust seasonings, and remove from the heat. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve hot or warm in small ceramic dishes, or serve on a platter with toothpicks stuck into the mushrooms.
Serves 8 as part of a tapas spread or 4 as a side dish — Recipe adapted from cooking.nytimes.com
Similar to French ratatouille, Samfaina is a Catalonian vegetable relish that is long-cooked to a marmalade-like consistency. It is wonderful on fish, eggs, potatoes, or even toast. The key to its success is to dice the vegetables into small pieces. It will keep, covered, for several days in the refrigerator.
- 1 medium eggplant, peeled and diced very small
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 medium onions, peeled and very finely diced
- 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 2 red bell peppers (or one red and one green), peeled, seeded and sliced in thin strips or diced very small
- 1 medium zucchini, peeled and very finely diced
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely chopped, or a 14-ounce can, drained
Lay the eggplant pieces on two layers of paper towels. Sprinkle with salt. After 30 minutes, squeeze out the liquid and pat dry.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in an earthenware casserole over a flame tamer or in a Dutch oven. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, until they soften, about 8 minutes.
Add a generous pinch of salt and the garlic, and stir for about 30 seconds. Add the remaining olive oil along with the eggplant, bell peppers, zucchini, and black pepper. Turn the heat to low, stir, then cover and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the tomatoes, season with salt, cover again, and cook over low heat until the mixture has reduced to a thick relish, 2 to 3 more hours, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasonings. Before serving, allow the relish to sit for at least 1 hour, or better yet, refrigerate overnight.
Serves 6 — Recipe adapted from the New York Times, October 10, 2010
Thick-cut bone-in rib eye steaks, sometimes called “tomahawk steaks,” are becoming common in American meat markets. One steak can weigh more than 2 pounds and can easily serve 2 to 3 people or more. They are best cooked rare to medium-rare.
- One bone-in rib eye steak, about 2 inches thick
- About 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Fleur de sel
- One small brioche loaf, crusts removed, torn into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes, or to taste (optional)
- 4 large fresh dates, such as Medjool, pitted and spread open
- One bunch baby arugula
Heat a cast-iron griddle or large skillet over medium heat. Brush generously with olive oil. Pat the steak dry with paper towels, then sprinkle one side with fleur de sel. Arrange the steak salt side down on the hot surface. When it is seared (8 to 10 minutes), season the top of the steak with fleur de sel and flip it over to cook on the other side for another 8 minutes. Continue cooking the steak, flipping as needed, until the internal temperature reaches 125°F for medium-rare. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan drippings and toast the brioche, turning with a spatula until lightly browned. Dot the bread with the mustard and season with salt, black pepper, and hot red pepper flakes, if using. Generously drizzle with more olive oil, then nestle the dates in the brioche, cut sides down. Scatter the arugula over the top and toss everything together with 2 wooden spoons as you would a salad. Heap the salad on a serving platter and drizzle with olive oil. Slice the meat against the grain, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with additional olive oil. Serve with the salad.
Serves 2 to 3 — Recipe adapted from Mallmann on Fire by Francis Mallmann (Artisan, 2014)
Nearly all of us have eaten refried pinto beans. But refried cannellini beans are a revelation! And they look beautiful topped with a verdant pool of fresh-pressed olive oil.
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- A large Spanish onion, peeled and diced
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- Pinch of saffron (about 10 threads)
- 3 cups cooked cannellini beans, preferably homemade
- 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock, preferably homemade
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
- Leaves from 4 sprigs fresh oregano
In a saucepan or small pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When hot, sauté the onion and garlic for 3 to 5 minutes, or until translucent.
Take the pan from the heat and add the saffron. Let it infuse the oil mixture for about 5 minutes.
Add the beans and return the pan to the heat. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the broth has reduced by half.
Off the heat, mash the beans with a wooden spoon or potato masher until nearly smooth. This can be rustic and lumpy or very smooth, depending on how you like it. To make it smooth, use a food processor. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
Serves 6 — Recipe from Cooking Like a Master Chef by Graham Elliot (Atria Books, 2015)