Spain on a plate

Amanda Lamb gathers a feast of typical Spanish flavours to serve on a lazy summers evening with pre-dinner drinks
By Amanda Lamb
Spain on a plate
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • a few Padrón peppers, (see cooks note below)
  • 2-3 thick slices dense brown bread
  • manchego cheese, and a selection of other Spanish cheeses (see cooks note below)
  • 2-3 cured chorizo, sliced
  • 1 jars pre-roasted bottled peppers
  • chilli oil, to drizzle
  • 3-4 tomatoes
  • 2-3 tsp basil
  • olive oil, for dressing and drizzling
  • sherry vinegar, for dressing
  • 150-250 g finely sliced Iberian ham
  • almonds

Tips and Suggestions

Padrón peppers (pimientos de Padrón) are small (5-7cm) green peppers, unique to Padrón, a region of South West Galicia in North West Spain. Most taste sweet and mild, though some are particularly hot and spicy.

Manchego is the best known and most widely available Spanish cheese. It comes from La Mancha and was originally made only from the milk of manchego sheep. It is aged for 3 months or longer and is a semi-firm cheese with a rich golden colour.

Method

1. Heat the olive oil in a hot pan and put the peppers into the pan. They will puff up slightly whilst cooking. Cook until they have blistered slightly on the outsides and all have puffed up. Remove from the heat and drain on kitchen paper. Sprinkle with a generous amount of sea salt.

2. Cut the slices of bread into fingers and cut the manchego and other cheeses into similar sized pieces. Add to the bread and top with slices of chorizo or pieces of roasted pepper. Drizzle with a little chilli oil.

3. Chop the tomatoes into chunks and put into a bowl. Add some finely sliced basil and dress with sherry vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

4. To serve, arrange the ham slices, remaining cheese, the fingers of bread with their toppings and any remaining ingredients on a large platter. Scatter the tomato salad in any gaps and dot the fried Padrón peppers and almonds around the platter. Drizzle everything with olive oil.

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