Whether you’re anxiously monitoring the green list, or giving up on foreign travel for this year, these four dishes are bound to put you in a sunshiney mood…
While we’re still hoping to get away for some late-summer sun, you could be forgiven for thinking a foreign holiday in summer 2021 is a bit more stress than it’s worth.
However, even if you are staying on home soil, that doesn’t mean you need to miss out on the best part of any good holiday – the food.
This year we’re particularly craving the sun-drenched flavours of Spain, which is why we’ve rounded up some mouth-watering Iberian recipes that are easy to make and guaranteed to give you strong holiday vibes.
These are the four we’ll be adding to our summer rotation…
Just because the weather is warm, doesn’t mean you have to abandon comfort food, as proved by this Catalan stew cooked up by Albert Manso Miras of Michelin-starred restaurant Tickets…
1kg stewing beef (shin or chuck) chopped into small pieces
250g onions (peeled and diced)
250g carrots (peeled and diced)
1 garlic clove
250g ripe fresh tomatoes (grated or chopped in processor)
125ml red wine
1 handful of rosemary
1 tsp cinnamon
Gently heat the oil in a heavy pan, dust the meat with flour, season and brown, then set aside. In the same oil brown two garlic cloves, add the onion and carrot and cook on a low heat until caramelised. Add the tomato, rosemary and cinnamon and take the heat as low as possible, cooking for 10 minutes. Add the wine and reduce again for another 10 minutes, then add the meat, mushrooms and water, and simmer for an hour and 15 minutes. Top with picada – a rough chop of whole almonds, parsley and a garlic clove.
Pair with: Freixenet Rioja, a fresh, vibrant Rioja bursting with red fruit and blackberry flavours.
2. Roast spiced cauliflower with romesco and olives
A punchy vegetarian dish from star Spanish chef Jose Pizarro in conjunction with Olives From Spain…
1 large cauliflower, leaves removed
1 tsp smoked sweet pimenton
1 tsp smoked hot pimenton
6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped
4 tbsps olive oil
2 tbsps medium dry sherry
Juice of a lemon
25g roasted flaked almonds
2 tbsps chopped flat leaf parsley
For the black olive romesco
50g blanched almonds
50g blanched hazelnuts
350g roasted red peppers from a jar
100g black hojiblanca olives, pitted
1 clove garlic, grated
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tsp smoked sweet pimenton
30g fresh breadcrumbs
5 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
Heat the oven to 200°C (fan 180°C). Mix the pimentons with the thyme leaves and olive oil and rub all over the cauliflower. Place in a small roasting tin and season well. Add a good splash of boiling water and roast for 40 minutes. Drizzle with the sherry and lemon juice and return to the oven for 10 minutes more.
Meanwhile, bash the almonds and hazelnuts in a pestle and mortar to rough crumbs. Whizz the peppers and olives together with the garlic, vinegar and pimenton. Season and stir in the roughly ground nuts and breadcrumbs. Add the oil. Serve wedges of the cauliflower on a bed of romesco sauce and scatter with the flaked almonds and parsley.
Pair with: Freixenet Cordon Negro, a crisp, clean and well-balanced Cava with flavours of apple, pear and bright citrus fruit.
3. Vegan paella
Chef Gemma Simmonite of restaurant Gastrono-me grew up in Mallorca, and her vegan take on the classic paella is the perfect summer dish to share with mates.
3 tbsps olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 red pepper, chopped
300g Bomba rice
1 tsp chilli flakes
2 tsps smoked paprika
900ml of vegetable stock
1 pinch saffron strands
½ can of tinned tomatoes
75ml vegan white wine
150g green beans
4 x broccoli stems
80g frozen petits pois
Handful of Spanish olives, halved
1 handful flat leaf parsley
Add the saffron strands to the stock and let them infuse, then heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onion and garlic until soft. Add the chopped red pepper and cook for a further few minutes, then stir in the chilli and paprika.
Add the rice and stir very well, making sure it’s completely coated, then pour in the white wine and tomatoes and let bubble for another minute. Pour in the stock and leave on a low to medium heat for around 20 minutes.
Blanch the green beans, broccoli, and peas in boiling water for two or three minutes, then refresh under cold water. Check your rice – the liquid should have absorbed, with the rice retaining its bite. When ready, give a good squeeze of lemon juice, add your blanched vegetable and season. Scatter with fresh parsley and olives and serve with more lemon wedges.
Pair with: Freixenet Spanish Sauvignon Blanc, a dry and refreshing white wine packed with tropical fruit flavours.
4. Octopus with Basque pepper stew
The perfect dish for when you want to show off – chef Paul Belcher of The Tapas Room recommends asking your fishmonger for cooked octopus legs to keep things simple…
200g octopus (cooked)
For the stew
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 small white onion
4 cloves garlic
50ml olive oil
1 tsp paprika
For the parsley oil
½ bunch of flat leaf parsley
200ml olive oil
Splash sherry vinegar
Gently heat the oil over a medium heat, thinly slice the onion, peppers and garlic, and add to the pan for five minutes until the onions become translucent. Add the paprika and water and cook for a further 10 minutes. Cut the octopus legs into inch-long pieces and cook in a hot pan until browned all over. Blitz the parsley oil ingredients and drizzle over the plated stew and octopus.
Pair with: Freixenet Spanish Rosado – an explosion of summer fruit flavours and crisp citrus notes make this a great match for seafood.
Looking for the perfect drink to pair with your next Spanish feast? Having long been experts in Spanish Cava, Freixenet has now extended its 150 years of wine-making expertise to create a new range of high-quality Spanish still wines, all of which will add a touch of Mediterranean joy to your summer. Shop the range here and the perfect accompaniments to a Spanish feast below: