June 15, 2007


There's a group of eight of us that get together every so often to cook and eat and enjoy each other's company. It started as a once a month curry night and has evolved into a whenever-we-can-get-our-schedules-coordinated ethnic night. Thus far, we've had the original Indian curry night, a fabulous Turkish evening, a Mexican night with killer Margaritas and a super, spicy Thai supper.
For our next get together, the first we've had since December (yes it is strangely difficult to get eight people together for dinner) we're making a big assortment of Spanish tapas. And I think (and hope) that someone is making a big pitcher of sangria to enjoy with them!

My contribution includes a chickpea salad, a vegetable coca (like a tart) and patatas bravas.

Chickpea Salad
recipe taken from Euroresidentes.com
  • 1/2 kg chickpeas
  • hard boiled eggs
  • 4 red peppers (pimientos del piquillo)
  • small bunch of spring onions
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • 1 large tomato
  • fresh parsley
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • white wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • 50g cured ham
  1. Drain and rinse the chickpeas (if using dried chickpeas soak overnight and then boil the next day in a pressure cooker for 10 mins or boil for 1 hour 10 mins in a pan)
  2. Prepare the tomato by blanching it and removing the skin and pips following this cut it into small cubes and place in a bowl
  3. Add the red peppers to the tomato (if you can´t find the spanish pimientos del piquillo you will need to roast the red peppers for about 20 mins and then remove the skin and cut into strips)
  4. Cut the cured ham into small squares and add to the bowl.
  5. Dress with extra virgin olive oil and white wine vinegar over and season with salt and pepper
  6. Add the chickpeas to the salad mixture
  7. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve

Vegetable Coca
recipe taken from Tienda.com
serves 4

for the dough:
  • ¾ cup water, hand hot
  • a pinch of sugar
  • 1½ teaspoon dried yeast
  • 9 oz strong plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lard
for the topping
  • 9 oz chard or spinach, shredded
  • 9 oz spinach, shredded
  • ½ bunch spring onions, cut into 4 inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp pimentón
  • salt
  • 1 tomato, skinned, seeded, and chopped
  1. Mix 1/2 cup of the water, the sugar, and the yeast and leave for about 10 minutes until a frothy head forms.
  2. Mix the flour, salt, yeast mixture, oil, and lard, and add just enough of the remaining water to mix to a soft, pliable dough.
  3. Knead well for about 10 minutes, then place in an oiled plastic bag and leave in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour.
  4. Meanwhile, put the chard and spinach in a saucepan with a small amount of salted water, bring to a boil and simmer for 4 minutes. Let sit for 3 minutes then drain, squeezing out the excess water.
  5. Add the spring onions, parsley, garlic, and oil. Season with paprika and salt and blend well.
  6. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  7. Roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick and curl up the edges to make a border.
  8. Place on a greased baking tray and spread the vegetables over the dough, sprinkle with tomato, season with salt, and bake for 30 to 50 minutes.
From Spain on a Plate by María José Sevilla

I'll be making a few changes to the above recipe. For one, I don't have chard so will use only spinach and I'm replacing the lard with the equivalent amount of olive oil.

I'm still hunting for the perfect patatas bravas recipe. Pin It


Papadesdeux said...

Sounds deeeliscious. And I completely get how hard it is to coordinate an evening. The older you get, the more friends you accumulate, and it becomes impossible to spend as much time with everyone as you would like.

Betty C. said...

Oh, it sounds like an organized potluck! I like that idea -- there doesn't seem to be enough of them going on in France, though. That could explain why I don't have people over as much as I'd like to!

Loulou said...

it is strange! And we don't even have kids to work around.

it's great fun! Our next get together will be Brazilian food, hopefully at the end of July

Mimi said...

I really like the sound of that chick pea salad. Never thought of pairing ham with chick peas.

Loulou said...

it was really delicious! Chickpeas are a fabulous thing

Figs Olives Wine said...

What a beautiful coca! I really can't wait to try it, and I love the sound of your dinner club! We had one here very briefly, but it got too hard to coordinate everyone's busy schedules. I really would love to get it going again though.