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Spanish Tapas - Pulpo con Pimentón & Escalivada

These recipes are super simple, packed with incredible Spanish flavours and take advantage of some of the beautiful Summer produce we’ve been looking forward to all year! You can substitute the grill for a hot pan if you want to replicate these dishes indoors but you’ll be missing out on the wonderful smokey flavour and the unbeatable atmosphere that outdoor grilling provides.


Pulpo con Pimentón


INGREDIENTS

1kg fresh octopus

4 cloves of garlic

2 sprigs of mint

The juice of one lemon

Good quality extra virgin olive oil

Smoked paprika and salt to taste


1. Despite what they told you about fresh being best, you’re going to want to give your octopus a few hours in the freezer. The process helps to tenderize the octopus before you even start cooking it.


2. Place the frozen octopus into a pot and fill with water and a large pinch of salt. Although optional, we flavoured the liquid with a lemon cut into two and a few bay leaves. Feel free to use any herbs or citrus you have available to season the cooking liquid


3. Place the pot over medium high heat and boil for around an hour or until a knife can pierce the thickest portion of the flesh of the octopus with no resistance.


4. Remove the octopus from the pot and allow to drain over several layers of paper towel. Discard the cooking liquid.


5. Pat to dry completely and season liberally with olive oil, salt and smoked paprika. Alternatively you can refrigerate the octopus at this stage and finish it on the grill the following day.


6. While your octopus is drying you can finely mince the garlic and roughly chop the mint.


Escalivada


This dish is wonderfully simple but delivers some complex flavours. By charring the vegetables till their skins blacken the flesh underneath becomes tender and inherits an incredibly smoked characteristic. Although delicious while still hot, this dish gets even better once it’s allowed to sit and marinate for a few hours – if you can wait that long before digging in.


INGREDIENTS

4 bell peppers, a mix of colours is prefereable

2 aubergines

2 red onions

Extra virgin olive oil

Sherry vinegar, salt and pepper to taste


1. Lightly oil the vegetables and place onto a hot grill. Char each side for a few minutes until completely blackened. The vegetable will appear ruined but the flesh beneath will be tender and unharmed.


2. Once of all the vegetables have been charred place them into a container and cover with a lid or some cling film to allow the vegetables to steam lightly.


3. After 10 minutes, uncover the vegetables and remove their skins, seeds and stems with a small knife.


4. Reserve one tablespoons of the dark juices that the vegetables have produced in a small mixing bowl. To this add one tablespoon of sherry vinegar and a large pinch of salt.



5. Whisk to combine and slowly stream in three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil while still whisking to create a vinaigrette.


6. Cut the vegetables into evenly sized strips and combine with your vinaigrette and any freshly chopped herbs you have available – we recommend coriander or mint.




These recipes were taken from our ‘Cuisines of France & Spain’ course.

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