Manchego, roasted red capsicum & smoky paprika
SERVES 4 / TOTAL TIME: 20 MINUTES
This Spanish twist on an old favourite is topped with a crisp crown (corona) of Manchego cheese. Spiked with sweet smoked paprika and served with vinegary cornichons, anchovies and olives, this is the ultimate bar snack.
Unsalted butter or olive oil
4 slices of white bread
50g manchego cheese
2 jarred roasted red capsicums in oil
A few slices of higher-welfare ibérico ham
2 pinches of sweet smoked paprika
1. Butter or brush oil over both sides of the bread slices.
2. Grate most of the cheese, then scatter half over one of the slices of bread.
3. Drain the capsicums and tear into strips, then layer half onto the bread, followed by half the ham. Place the other slice of bread on top and press together.
4. Place a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, transfer the sandwich to the pan, then put a flat weight on top and cook for 3 minutes or until golden.
5. Remove the weight, flip the toastie and cook for a further 3 minutes, then remove to a plate.
6. Finely grate a little of the remaining cheese directly into the pan. Place the toastie on top, grate over a little more cheese and dust lightly with paprika.
7. Cook the toastie for 1 further minute or until the manchego starts to bubble, then lift out of the pan with a fish slice, holding it up for about 30 seconds to allow the cheese to ooze down and set.
8. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
9. Serve the toasties cut into quarters, quesadilla-style. Delicious with cornichons, quality anchovies and Spanish olives skewered onto cocktail sticks, as well as some seasonal salad leaves.
NUTRITION: 215KCALS • 7.1G FAT • 3.3G SAT FAT • 11.8G PROTEIN • 25.9G CARBS • 1.7G SUGAR • 1.4G SALT • 1.8G FIBRE
Grilled vegies with a herby dressing
SERVES 4 / TOTAL TIME: 40 MINUTES, PLUS COOLING
This is a rustic Catalonian dish of smoky roasted veg in a herby dressing; originally, the vegetables would have been cooked in embers. You can enjoy escalivada warm or at room temperature.
1 bulb of garlic
6 large ripe plum tomatoes
2 red capsicums
2 green capsicums
8 fresh bay leaves
1 pinch of rock salt
A few sprigs of fresh curly parsley
1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
Extra virgin olive oil
1. Preheat the grill or barbecue to high.
2. Break the bulb of garlic into individual cloves. If cooking under the grill, place all the vegetables into a large roasting tray (there’s no need to peel them) and scorch for 15-20 minutes or until blackened and blistered all over, turning regularly – the tomatoes and capsicums will take less time, so remove as and when ready. If cooking on a barbecue, place the veg directly onto the grill.
3. Pop the charred veg into a couple of large mixing bowls, cover with clingfilm and leave to steam for around 10 minutes – this will help to loosen the skins.
4. Peel the tomatoes, cut the flesh away from the core and remove the seeds, then squeeze the skins and core through a sieve over a mixing bowl to catch any juices.
5. Carefully peel and deseed the capsicums. Peel the eggplants and onions, discarding the skins, adding any juices to the mixing bowl.
6. Pop the garlic out of its skin into the bowl of juices, then stir gently to combine.
7. Chop the tomato flesh into chunks and tear the capsicums, onions and eggplants into strips, then arrange nicely on a serving platter.
8. Bash the bay leaves in a pestle and mortar with the rock salt until you have a fine green dust.
9. Roughly chop the parsley (stalks and all), then add to the pestle and mortar with the oregano and bash again. Muddle in 3 tablespoons of oil, 1/2 tablespoons of vinegar and a good pinch of black pepper.
10. Pour the garlicky vegetable juices over the vegetables and finish with the herby dressing.
NUTRITION: 211KCALS • 10.8G FAT • 1.8G SAT FAT • 5.6G PROTEIN • 24G CARBS • 18G SUGAR • 0.6G SALT • 7.7G FIBRE
With smoky chorizo, saffron & rosemary
SERVES 6 / TOTAL TIME: 2 HOURS 15 MINUTES
Tomatoes, capsicums and chorizo characterise this stew, which hails from Aragon in northeastern Spain. This is also a winner made with lamb.
1 x 1.4kg whole free-range chicken, cut into 2 wings, 2 breasts, 2 legs, 2 thighs (ask your butcher to do this for you)
4 higher-welfare cooking chorizo or sausages (250g)
3 cloves of garlic
1 x 290g jar roasted red capsicums in oil
400ml organic chicken stock
1/2 a bunch of fresh rosemary (15g)
1 handful mixed olives (stone in)
1 pinch of saffron
2 anchovy fillets in oil, from sustainable sources
1. Drizzle a little oil into a large casserole pan over a medium heat. Season the chicken well with sea salt and black pepper, brown in the pan for a few minutes, then remove to a plate – you may need to work in batches.
2. Slice the chorizo, then cook for
4-5 minutes or until crisp and golden, stirring regularly. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to the chicken plate, leaving the flavoured oil behind in the pan.
3. Peel and slice the onion and garlic, then cook in the flavoured oil for 10 minutes or until softened, stirring occasionally.
4. Score a cross into the bottom of each tomato, then submerge in boiling water for 5 minutes or until the skins start to loosen. Remove to a colander and place under cold running water until cool enough to handle. Discard the skins and seeds, then roughly chop the flesh.
5. Drain the capsicums, tear into thick strips and add to the onions and garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes, then turn the heat up to high and add a good splash of sherry to deglaze the pan. Allow the sherry to reduce a little, then add the tomatoes and chicken stock.
6. Tie most of the rosemary sprigs together with food-safe string, then add to the pan along with the chicken, chorizo and any juices from the plate.
7. Reduce the heat to low and cook with the lid ajar for 1 hour 30 minutes or until the chicken is tender and the sauce has thickened.
8. Destone the olives and place in a measuring jug with the saffron, then pour over 300ml of boiling water and leave to steep.
9. Add the olive and saffron stock to the casserole pan for the final 30 minutes. Finely grate in the lemon zest and add the anchovies.
10. Pick the remaining rosemary leaves and fry in a little oil for 1 minute or until crispy.
11. When the stew is ready, carefully fish out and discard the rosemary bunch, then scatter over the crispy rosemary. Delicious served with rice and a seasonal salad, or some crusty bread for mopping up the juices.
NUTRITION: 363KCALS • 15.7G FAT • 5G SAT FAT • 39G PROTEIN • 15.8G CARBS • 11.2G SUGAR • 1.3G SALT • 3.5G FIBRE
“SLIGHTLY OVER-RIPE CAPSICUMS, OFTEN OVERLOOKED, ARE ACTUALLY THE GOOD ONES, WAITING TO BE BURNT, PEELED AND TURNED INTO AN INCREDIBLE BASE, OR PRESERVED FOR ANOTHER DAY.”
Garlicky capsicums, Spanish ham & oozy eggs
SERVES 4 / TOTAL TIME: 55 MINUTES
A stew of peppers, tomatoes, onions and sometimes eggplant, pisto is like ratatouille. ‘Manchego’ here doesn’t refer to the cheese but the Castilla La Mancha region of central Spain, where pisto – and the cheese – hail from. Pata negra is another name for jamon ibérico, made from the famous black, acorn-munching pigs. You can buy it in supermarkets. Serrano is similar, but less expensive.
3 red capsicums
4 large ripe tomatoes, on the vine
2 cloves of garlic
3 slices of pata negra or serrano ham
4 large free-range eggs
1. Peel the onions, deseed the capsicums and tomatoes, then finely chop all the veg into 1cm dice. Peel and finely chop the garlic.
2. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of oil into a pan over a low heat, add the onion, garlic and capsicum, and cook with the lid ajar for 20 minutes or until softened but not coloured.
3. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for a further 10 -15 minutes or until softened and cooked through. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper.
4. Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
5. Spoon the capsicum mixture into four small ovenproof dishes and make a well in each. Cut the ham into 1cm strips and lay across each well, then crack in an egg.
6. Cover each dish with tin foil and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the egg is cooked to your liking, removing the foil for the final 2-3 minutes.
7. Grind over a little black pepper and serve. Delicious with a stack of toasted sourdough for dunking.
NUTRITION: 220KCALS • 11.2G FAT 2.6G SAT FAT • 13.8G PROTEIN • 17.9G CARBS • 15.1G SUGAR • 0.6G SALT • 4.2G FIBRE
With roasted potatoes & fennel
SERVES 2-4 / TOTAL TIME: 25 MINUTES
This beautiful medley of grilled squid, zingy dressing, roasted fennel and potatoes, and fresh, vibrant vegies is a real flavour extravaganza. Not only does it look colourful and vibrant, but it comes together in under 30 minutes!
350g waxy potatoes
1 large bulb of fennel
2 large squid, with tentacles (500g), from sustainable sources
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 a red Romano capsicum
1/2 a red onion
1/2 a bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley (15g)
1. Preheat the grill to medium-high.
2. Very thinly slice potatoes, ideally on a mandoline (use the guard!), then rinse under cold water and pat dry with kitchen paper.
3. Trim and slice the fennel, then place in a large roasting tray with the potato.
4. Slice the squid tubes open like a book. Using a regular eating knife (so it’s not too sharp), lightly score the outside of squid in a criss-cross fashion, then slice into thick strips. Scatter over the fennel and potatoes, and season with sea salt and black pepper.
5. Grill for 12-15 minutes or until everything is cooked through, tossing halfway.
6. Mix the dried oregano with 1 splash of sherry vinegar and 1 tablespoon of oil in a large bowl. Squeeze in half the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.
7. Deseed capsicum and peel onion, then finely slice both and add to dressing. Pick and roughly chop and add parsley leaves.
8. Tip the grilled squid and vegies into the dressing, toss together well, then serve on a platter with the remaining lemon cut into wedges for squeezing over.
NUTRITION: 220KCALS • 5.7G FAT • 1G SAT FAT • 22.4G PROTEIN • 21G CARBS • 4G SUGAR • 0.9G SALT • 3.8G FIBRE
@jamieoliver delicious.com.au/recipes For more ways to cook with superstar seasonal vegetables.
“THE SPANIARDS DEFINITELY HAVE A WAY WITH CAPSICUMS. I LOVE HOW THEY POP UP IN THE COUNTRY’S TAPAS BARS. THEY ADD TEXTURE AND FLAVOUR TO ALL SORTS OF COOKING, SO I ENCOURAGE YOU TO MIX THINGS UP AND SEE HOW VERSATILE THEY CAN BE.”■