Spanish Tapas - Pre-Season Testing


Tapas are well loved in Spain. And really, why not? Late afternoon or late evening with a glass of wine or sherry, these make the perfect accompaniment to good friends, a good drink, and a good time. In addition to the recipes below we added some olives, jamon iberico, and some hard and soft cheeses to the spread. Oh, and a few bottles of Spanish wine to wash it all down! 

Given that Pre-Season testing lasts two weeks I thought you might like a few more recipes to round out the menu. And perhaps an excuse to eat some tapas!

The first week of testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya looked mighty cold, it even snowed on track on the last day! Mercedes made a snowman, people made lots of Iceman jokes at Kimi's expense, and reporters shivered while trying to interview reserve-driver and celebrity du jour Robert Kubica. We enjoyed getting back into the nitty gritty with Ted Kravitz and his eponymous "Notebook". IMHO, he really is the best commentator out there because he gets his nose in everyone's business and notices all the tiny details that make the sport so interesting. His Development Corner at the end of week one highlights many of the changes coming this year and gives you little deep dive into the sport! (note: if the videos don't work in your part of the world, you can check out his twitter feed @tedkravitz) 

tomato bread


6 slices white country-style bread
Extra virgin olive oil
3 tomatoes, halved cross-wise

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Place bread slices on a baking sheet and toast in oven for 5-8 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and immediately drizzle with olive oil on both sides.
3. Rub each slice with the cut side of the tomato half, pressing to squeeze some of the pulp and seeds on the bread. Sprinkle the tomato with salt. Serve while the bread is still warm and crisp. 


Smoked Paprika Almonds

Adapted from Devour Blog

This recipe is easy to double or triple so I am providing the measurements per 1 cup almonds, you can decide how much you need depending on the size of your crowd!

1 cup raw almonds
1/3  tablespoon coarse sea salt
1/4 teaspoon smoked Parpika
1/3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spread the almonds onto an ungreased baking sheet and toast in the oven for 7 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until almonds are golden brown and giving off a toasted aroma. Watch carefully because they can burn quickly.

2. While the nuts are toasting, combine the sea salt and the smoked paprika in a small bowl.

3. Once the almonds are out of the oven, drizzle with olive oil and toss to combine. Add extra oil if not all the nuts are coated. Sprinkle with the salt and paprika mixture and stir again. Allow to cool. Transfer to serving bowl and serve at room temperature.


Baked Patatas Bravas with Smoked Paprika Dipping Sauce

Inspired by Food & Wine 

For the Patatas Bravas
3 medium yellow potatoes, sliced into wedges
1 Tblsp olive oil

For the Smoked Paprika Dipping Sauce
2 Tblsp mayonnaise
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1-2 Tblsp lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. In a pot, cover the potatoes with water. Generously season with kosher salt and bring to a boil. Simmer the potatoes until nearly tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and let the potatoes dry on paper or kitchen towels.
3. Lay potatoes out on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil, toss potatoes until lightly covered with olive oil. Sprinkle salt on potatoes. Roast in oven for 30-40 minutes, flipping once or twice, until nicely browned.
4. Meanwhile make the dipping sauce. Add mayonnaise and spices to a small bowl and whip with a fork until combined. Add lemon juice slowly until you reach desired consistency/ tanginess.

fennel salad


 Adapted from Genius Kitchen

2-3 small fennel bulbs, trimmed and cut into thin wedges
2 Tblsp olive oil
1 large orange, peeled and cut into segments (supremed)
1 Tblsp white wine vinegar
¼ red onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
6  black  or kalamata olives
4 cups lettuce, romaine or green leaf, torn into bite size pieces (optional)
fresh ground black pepper
1 Tblsp fresh mint, roughly chopped (optional)

1. Pre-heat oven to 400F.
2. Place fennel on a well-oiled baking tray, drizzle with ½ Tblsp olive oil, roast for 20-30 minutes or until tender and charred on the edges. Turn them once or twice during cooking. Allow to cool.
3. Whisk the remaining oil with white wine vinegar.
4.  In a large bowl mix lettuce with ½ the dressing. Remove and place into serving bowl.
5. In same large bowl, gently mix fennel with orange slices, onion, olives and add remaining dressing. Add ½ the mint, salt and pepper, and stir once more.
6. Add fennel mixture on top of lettuce in the serving bowl. Top with remaining mint, and optional fennel fronds for garnish.