Lazy Summer Lunches and Food Hampers:
Spanish Tapas Toast with Escalivada Recipe
How nice it is the receive a hamper of artisan products, and I was delighted to receive just one such box last week when a box of Spanish goodies landed on my doorstep. The box of delights had been sent to me by The Foodies Larder, a fabulous company that offers monthly boxes of Spanish ingredients, all delivered directly to your door with no need to hop on a plane, nice though that may be! I was sent the box for July, which was a veritable treasure trove of high quality regional Spanish ingredients; they were all packed in a brown cardboard box, lined with recyclable paper shreds and topped with tissue…….I am not a lover of excessive packaging and I thought the ingredients were packed well (and safely), and the use of recyclable cardboard and packing was just right, and it gave a lovely Mediterranean artisanal feel to the whole package. The box was tied shut with some natural string with a little “Enjoy Me” statement just above – a nice touch I thought. It’s always exciting to open a box of food goodies and I was not disappointed, my box comprised:
ABELLA HONEY: Abella honey is a 100% raw and unfiltered artisan honey from Gallicia. This blend is made with Royal Jelly, one of nature’s superfoods, which is carefully gathered from the hives and slowly swirled into the honey to create a richly textured and buttery blend.
ESCALIVADA: A typical dish from Catalonia made from fire-roasted red peppers, aubergines and onions and preserved in extra virgin olive oil. The name itself speaks to the origins of the dish as it comes from the Catalonian word ‘escalivar’ meaning to cook in ashes. Can Bech, prepare their roasted vegetables in the homemade, traditional way: over a high flame and then by peeling the skins by hand.
SEA SALT FROM SAL DE IBIZA: This 100% natural sea salt from Ibiza comes in a handy little carry pack, ready for all your outdoor foodie adventures this summer, whether a picnic in the park or a barbecue on the beach. Small grain and with no preservatives or additives, it is sea salt of the highest quality having been harvested exclusively in the nature reserve ‘Parc natural de ses Salines d’Eivissa’ which has been designated an Item of World Heritage by the UNESCO.
EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL: La Chinata Extra Virgin Olive Oil is made from olives grown in Sierra de Gata, in the province of Cáceres in Southern Spain. The local variety – Manzanilla Cacereña – are widely known and appreciated for their texture and flavour, which is why the majority of olives grown in this region are destined for direct consumption as table olives.
ORGANIC 70% DARK CHOCOLATE WITH FLEUR DE SEL FROM IBIZA: This dark chocolate made with 70% cocoa, is carefully selected from small producers in the Dominican Republic and Fleur de Sel from Sal de Ibiza is a great example of two companies working together to produce a product of the highest quality. The addition of the salt crystals greatly enhances the flavour whilst at the same time heightening the acidity and bitterness of the chocolate.
PASTA FLAVOURED WITH PIQUILLO PEPPERS & VEGETABLES: Piquillo Peppers are a key ingredient in Spanish cuisine, enjoyed in many different ways: roasted, stuffed, even as a jam. Their sweet smoky flavour, from being roasted over wood embers, combines perfectly with other vegetables to naturally flavour this artisan pasta from Sandro Desii.
The box also contained a very useful ingredients “cheat sheet” with lots of information about the the selected products in the box, and had suggested recipe ideas too. I have to say that the little jar of Abella Honey that was part of my selection has to be the PRETTIEST jar of honey I have ever seen! My mind started to work in overdrive, as I plotted and planned what I would make first, and it was the weather that dictated my first recipe; with it being a very hot 38C in the shade and with a planned al fresco lunch in mind, taken at our old table under the trees, I decided on a simple dish with not much cooking involved, a Spanish style bruschetta, which I have called Spanish Tapas Toast!
Using my jar of escalivada, extra virgin olive oil and sea salt from Ibiza, I thought this recipe was a great way to test drive some of the ingredients from my box. I had some bespoke “bruschetta bread” in the bread bin, which are just large slices of light bread, as well as some lovely Serrano ham and Spanish olives in the pantry. The mercury was rising, the table under the trees beckoned, the ice was thrown into a jug of home-made lemonade and all I had to do, was open a jar and turn on the grill – simples!
I topped my bread with some of the extra virgin olive oil before adding half a jar of the drained escalivada, some shreds of Serrano ham, olives, goat’s cheese and then finishing the toasted snack off with flat leaf parsley and a sprinkling of Ibiza sea salt; the toast was served with a huge bowl of green salad leaves and it was delectable – light and flavoursome with punchy flavours and interesting textures of crunchy and soft, as well as melted cheese too. The escalivada was beautiful – the vegetables almost silky with a real fire-roasted taste, whilst the olive oil was full of green fruity flavours.
I was thrilled with the recipe I made as well as the selection and quality of ingredients that were sent to me. The Foodies Larder also has some great recipes on their site here: The Foodies Larder Spanish Recipes. Next on my list to use, is the pasta, which looks and sound amazing, and, I have to admit to having broken into the chocolate already, which is delectable – smooth and rich with a hint if saltiness, it’s just amazing. I have dipped my honey dibber into the honey and I fallen in love with its creamy, floral taste…….I can see that being used with a fresh fruit and cheese board, it would be fabulous with fruit and cheese.
If you have been inspired by my review, then please take a trip over to The Foodies Larder website, where you can read all about what they do and how you can order your monthly boxes from them. The recipe for my Spanish Tapas Toast with Escalivada is shared below, and if you can get your hands on some escalivada, then you really should try this recipe – it’s easy and FULL of summery flavours, perfect for outdoor eating, picnics, parties and light lunches. Watch out for a VERY special giveaway that I will be posting later on today – Nick from The Foodies Larder has very kindly offered one of his wonderful boxes as a prize for ALL Lavender and Lovage readers! So, do pop back and enter! That’s all for now, I am off to enjoy my lunch, outside again, and I will see you all later, have a GREAT Saturday, Karen.
HOT of the PRESS! To win the bespoke Artisan Spanish Food Hamper from The Foodies Larder above, enter HERE:
Links to my other recent Spanish Recipes:
Disclaimer: I was sent a box of Spanish ingredients from The Foodies Larder for free, to use and review; I was not asked to post my findings on my blog. I chose to share my views and opinions here, as I wish the share the experience with my regular readers, and I thought that the service and product was excellent. Karen S Burns-Booth