4 fresh summer recipes to fight the heat -

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4 fresh summer recipes to fight the heat

July 14, 2020

In the height of summer, with temperatures soaring, the last thing you will want to be eating is a hot and heavy meal. It is important to try and stay as cool and relaxed as possible. So, here is a collection of light and refreshing summer recipes that you can try and taste to beat the heat.

Courgette and Olive Gazpacho

By far a Spanish summer staple, this refreshing courgette and olive gazpacho is easy to make, super healthy, and delicious! It’s usually served as an appetizer or even a drink.

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg of courgette
  • 50 g of green pepper
  • 50 g of sweet spring onion
  • 50 g of stoneless green olives
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 80 ml. Extra virgin olive oil
  • 20 ml. Wine vinegar
  • Half a teaspoon of salt
  • 250 ml. Water

Method:

  • Peel the garlic, spring onion and courgettes.
  • Grind all the ingredients together, except the water, which we will incorporate at the end.
  • Add salt and vinegar to taste. And then add the water until you get the texture you want.
  • Leave it in the fridge and take out when it is cold accompanied by some olives!
  • Finally, add some croutons or sesame seeds on the top serve.

Olive Salmorejo

Another take on a classic Spanish dish, this inspired Olive Salmorejo is ideal to combat the summer heat. ​Next time you’re in southern Spain, especially Córdoba, you have to try a bowl of their creamy salmorejo. But until then, enjoy it at home with our olive salmorejo recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 200g stoneless olives
  • 8 tablespoons of water
  • 8 tablespoons of the brine of olives
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Serrano ham

Method

  1. First, cook the eggs. You need one per person. Place them in a pan and make sure that they are completely covered with water. Bring to a moderate heat until the water boils. Once the water is boiling, set a timer for 10 minutes. Drain and cool under the tap. Peel them and save them for later.
  2. While the eggs are cooking, place the breadcrumbs in the water to soak.
  3. Then put the olives with the brine in the blender and whisk until you get a cream.
  4. Add the breadcrumbs and whisk again until they are mixed together
  5. If a lighter consistency is desired, add more water.
  6. Once the mixture is completely mixed, incorporate the oil to emulsify the mixture.
  7. Pour the olive salmorejo into a jug and leave to rest in the fridge until served.
  8. Present the dish with a chopped hard-boiled egg and the diced ham on top, served cold.
  9. To give it a more powerful flavor at the end, you could add two tablespoons of sherry vinegar

Mediteranean Salad with avocado, tomato, cheese and olives

This fresh and vibrant summer salad recipe is perfect for al fresco dining to add to your BBQs in the evening or a healthy summer time lunch!

Ingredients

  • 1 Avocado
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Cured Cheese
  • Black Olives

Method

  1. Cut the tomatoes and olives into halves, and the cheese into small slices
  2. Split the avocado, take out the stone and peel the skin off. Then cut into small pieces
  3. Once you have cut all the ingredients up, place them on a plate all together
  4. Season to taste with salt, olive oil and vinegar

Trampó Salad

This is a refreshing summer salad owith origin in Mallorca. Combining these fresh and organic ingredients guarantees a delicious and mouth-watering result. This salad is perfect accompanied by bread and olives.

Ingredients

  • 5 tomatoes, diced
  • 6 small green peppers, cored and diced
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons of Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt of salt
  • Olives from Spain of your choice
  • Bread to accompany

Method

  1. Wash and prepare all the ingredients as described in the ingredients list
  2. In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, peppers, onion and olives
  3. Mix together with the olive oil and salt to taste until everything is incorporated
  4. Serve with some bread or keep in the fridge for/up to a few days.

As you can see, these recipes are super easy and quick to make at home. This is a reason why they are perfect for those days when you don’t know what to have for lunch or those other occasions when you don’t have much time to cook. We can assure you they are truly tasty. But what is more important, is that they are very refreshing, and thus will help you to beat the heat of summer days.

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5 places you need to visit in Spain once we return to normality

July 30, 2020

We are all dreaming of our next holiday destination once everything resumes and we return to normality. That first step off the plane to be welcomed by the warm temperatures, the first drink on the beach or sightseeing through the historical cities. These 5 Spanish destinations offer something special and unique for an unforgettable holiday brimming with culture, beautiful landscapes, beaches and towns that remain relatively undiscovered. These are places not to be missed once normal life starts again!

  1. Valencia: ​As one of the best cities to visit in Spain, Valencia offers an eclectic mix of traditional and modern culture. Between the beautiful Cathedral and Old Town to the modernist and Art Deco architecture of the City of Arts and Science, this city certainly gives itself a unique feel. With high and sunny temperatures, enjoy the beautiful beaches as well as the famous Turia park, which used to be a river, as the perfect place to take a blissful stroll soaking in the rays.
  2. Bilbao: ​The northern Spanish city of Bilbao is very different to many you have probably visited before and it is perfect for a holiday if you are looking to visit a place of such contrast. While the rest of Spain can be unbearably hot and humid, the weather in Bilbao is perfect for an active holiday and therefore, taking advantage of the outdoors is essential as a leisurely walk through the city will give you a highly visual experience with a mix of old and contemporary architecture. Pintxos is the Basque’s country answer to Tapas, and after exploring the Guggenheim Museum and taking in more of the city’s history, a Pintxos pit stop in the Old Town is the perfect idea. You could even try the iconic ‘Gilda’ Pinxtos consisting of olives from Spain, gherkins and guindillas (Spanish pickled green chillies).
  3. Barcelona: ​Barcelona is without a doubt Spain’s cultural capital and thus this cosmopolitan city is perfect to explore once we are able to. From the scenic outdoor offerings of the colourful Gaudi buildings such as La Sagrada Familia and Park Güell, to the bustling La Barceloneta beach, to the Las Ramblas streets, packed with restaurants, bars and markets, this city seems to have something for everyone. With such a variety of things to do, you could stay for a few days but most likely you would want to stay longer to have the whole Barcelona experience!
  4. Seville: ​A beautiful and fascinating city in southern Spain, Seville is an example of Spain’s living history. It is a compact city, great for sightseeing, where you can explore the stunning architecture of the city filled with Roman ruins, Moorish structures and palaces and Gothic churches from the Castilian rule. D​uring the day, you’ll find outdoor cafes all along cobbled streets between the pastel-colored plazas. And when night falls, the city is filled with music and dance as it is the capital of flamenco. ​Seville truly captures the culture and traditions of Spain and therefore it is a perfect destination to add to the list of the must have places to visit once normal life continues.
  5. Jaen: ​Another beautiful Andalusian city, that every lover of Spain should visit, enjoy and spend some time once normal life resumes getting to know it. Not only is the city brimming with history, cultural customs and traditions, standing at the top of the Santa Catalina Castle that towers over its winding streets offers some of the most breathtaking views of the fascinating Moorish architecture, the vast landscapes of olive groves and many historically impressive monuments.

Spain’s diverse cities, breathtaking landscapes, culture and traditions are unparalleled. With so much variety between the different parts of Spain, each with its own celebrated sites, culture, cuisine and seasonality, there is no doubt that there is something for everyone within this eclectic mix of places. This makes it an undisputed destination that you must visit once normal life resumes.

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Easy recipes to do with kids

September 14, 2020

Cooking has always been a fun activity and even more so if you can gather the whole family together to create delicious and healthy meals that you can all enjoy! There isn’t a better time to introduce your kids to cooking, so here are some easy recipes to try and start to have fun in the kitchen with your little ones.

Mini olive baguette pizzas

Ingredients:
● 3 small baguettes
● 6 tablespoons of tomato puree
● 1 garlic clove, halved
● 150 grams of mozzarella
● 40 grams of black olives

Selection of other toppings: ​parma ham, sliced red and yellow peppers, onion, sliced cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, sweetcorn, pesto

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Bake the baguettes for 12-15 min or until cooked. Halve each baguette lengthways, place on a baking tray and put back into the oven for a further 5 min to crisp up.
2. While still warm, rub each baguette half with the cut side of the garlic. Spread each piece with 1 tablespoon of purée.
3. Sprinkle with a handful of mozzarella, followed by the black olives.
4. Let the children help themselves to the different toppings to create their own combinations. You could even try and make fun patterns or smiley faces with the
different toppings!
5. Put the pizzas on the baking tray and bake for 6-8 min, until the cheese is melted and
golden. Then enjoy!

Mini mediterranean “banderillas”

Ingredients:

● Cucumber
● Red bell pepper
● Feta cheese
● Cherry tomatoes
● Black olives from Spain

Method:

1. Start chopping all the veggies and cheese in bite-size pieces
2.Help your kids assemble the skewers. Poke a black olive into each skewer and press it down util it reaches the end nod.
3.Then, add the rest of the ingredients in your desired order. We propose one here: cherry tomato, feta cheese, red bell pepper and cucumber (it will look amazing!)
4.Serve it as an appetizer on its own or alongside some delicious dipping sauce. This makes a great contribution for events and social gatherings.

Rainbow veggie Skewers

Ingredients
Choose for each colour of the rainbow you like
● Red: peppers, cherry tomatoes
● Orange: Sliced carrots into coins
● Yellow: peppers
● Green: Green olives from Spain, cucumber, broccoli
● Blue / Indigo: Black olives from Spain
Method
● For each veggie skewer, get your kids to start by poking one or two black olives onto the skewer, pushing them part way down.
● Next, thread on the green olives and other green veggies followed by yellow, orange, and red veggies of their choice (in that order – ending with red at the top)
● Serve with a healthy dip, such as hummus or guacamole
Black Olive Hummus
● 1 clove garlic
● 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
● 1 can black olives
● Olive oil as needed

Method
● Place garlic in food processor and pulse until garlic is minced.
● Add chickpeas and blend until they have broken down into a paste.
● Pour in liquid from olives, 1 tablespoon at a time; puree until fully incorporated, about 2
to 3 tablespoons liquid in total.
● Keep food processor running and slowly drizzle olive oil into hummus until smooth and
desired consistency is reached.
● Add olives to the hummus and pulse 3 to 7 times until olives are chopped and evenly
distributed.

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The Mocadorà, the particular Valentine’s Day on October 9th in Valencia

October 8, 2020

La Mocadorà is a popular festival in Valencia which celebrates not only the day of the Valencians community on the 9th October, but also Sant Donís, the patron of Valencians’ lovers. This is a very romantic day in the Valencian’s calendar, it is their version of Valentine’s Day and this tradition dates back to the eighteenth century. Traditionally, men gave their loved ones sweets made with marzipan and these are wrapped in a handkerchief. This handkerchief in Valencian is named a ‘mocador’, hence the name of this celebration.

It is important to understand the meaning of this very Valencian tradition, the Mocadorà, as there is a lot of history and symbolism relating to it. On the 9th of October every year, the people of the ancient Valencian Kingdom (nowadays, a Spanish region) celebrate their day. This is a historical commemoration of the date in 1238 when King James I officially entered the city of Valencia, freeing it from Moorish rule.​

Rewind to the beginning of the 18th century, Valencians were no longer allowed to celebrate it, after the War of Succession prohibited any celebrations. Valencians are known for their love of fireworks and firecrackers (that they knew as​ piulets ​and ​tronadors​), and this is how they celebrated this day until it was banned. As a consequence, the Valencian confectioners decided to protest by making sweets in the shapes of the forbidden firecrackers and rockets to represent what they were now not allowed to celebrate. These were made of marzipan and named​ p​iulets ​​and​​ tronadors.​

The ​pi​ulet​​ and ​​tronador​​ are accompanied by other sweets made from marzipan but shaped like fruits and vegetables, which according to popular belief made reference to the fertility of the Valencian orchards.

So, if you are in love and you are in Valencia on October 9th, do not forget to give the mocadorà to your love!

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The curious Olive stone launching competition in Spain

November 2, 2020

The olive stone launching (or olive pits spitting) event is an international competition born from Cieza. It’s a bizarre competition that was born as a joke between friends but that has already gone around the world, showing that, sometimes, food is also a game. An excuse to enjoy the ciezanas olives and, above all, have a good time.

To take part, participants simply choose an olive from a jar. They have to chew on it and then run up to the line where they are required to spit out the stone of the olive as far as they possibly can. If the player crosses the line however during the run up, the shot does not count. The winner is the participant who launches the stone the furthest.

In 2007 they sent a letter to the International Olympic Comitee. The COI answered them:

Thank you for your letter (…) on the subject of the inclusion of Olive Pit Spitting as an exhibition sport in the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, Beijing 2008.

We would like to inform you that only the International Federation governing a sport can request inclusion in the Olympic Games.

We trust that this information will be helpful, and thank you for your interest in the Olympic Movement and we wish you a very successful international Fiesta.

Curiosities aside, everybody knows that a fiesta like Sanfermines is much more than a corraling. Likewise, the Olive Pits Spiting Competition has become a very popular fiesta. Last year around 20.000 people participated in the event. This is just an example of the mood of the people from Cieza: how easy it is to spit an olive pit to have fun. A different life style which attracts foreign tourists.

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3 quick and easy canapé recipes for Christmas

December 16, 2020

Queens in Blankets

Makes 16 canapés

Ingredients:

  • – 16 Gordal (Queen) olives
  • – 8 slices Serrano ham
  • – 1 jar onion marmalade or similar store-bought chutney

 

Method

  1. 1. Empty the jar of onion marmalade/chutney into a piping bag, cut off the end and fill the centre of each olive.
  2. 2. Halve the slices of Serrano ham lengthways.
  3. 3. Roll each olive up in a strip of ham and place on a baking tray.
  4. 4. Pan fry or bake in the oven at 200°C until evenly crisp.
  5. 5. Serve warm.

 

Manzanilla Olives, Crème Fraiche and Spring Onion Filled Baby Potato Skins

Makes approx. 30 canapés

Ingredients:

  • – 100g Manzanilla olives, finely chopped
  • – 750g baby potatoes
  • – 50g salted butter, melted
  • – 100g crème fraiche
  • – 3 spring onions
  • – Olive oil
  • – Sat & Pepper

 

Method:

  1. 1. Pierce the baby potatoes all over with a toothpick before placing on a microwaveable plate.
  2. 2. Microwave on full for 5 minutes, then turn over each potato and microwave for a further 5 minutes. Alternatively, boil your potatoes for 10-15 minutes until they are just starting to soften.
  3. 3. Allow the potatoes to cool slightly before halving and spooning out the centres into a bowl, leaving a 5mm wall inside the skins.
  4. 4. Place the skins cut side down on a baking tray and brush each one with olive oil and season.
  5. 5. Bake at 200°C for 15-20 minutes until golden and crisp.
  6. 6. In the meantime, mash the potato centres and combine with the crème fraiche, melted butter, chopped olives and 2 finely sliced spring onions. Taste for seasoning.
  7. 7. Turn over the potato skins and fill each one with the crème fraiche and olive filling.
  8. 8. Switch the oven to grill on high heat.
  9. 9. Place the skins under the grill until bubbling and starting to brown.
  10. 10. Remove and allow to cool slightly before arranging on your serving platter and garnishing with the remaining finely sliced spring onion and extra olives.

 

Mini Cheese Scones with Whipped Hojiblanca Olive Butter and Cranberry Jelly

Makes 32 canapés

Ingredients:

(For the scones)

  • – 60g chilled salted butter, cut into small cubes
  • – 200g self-raising flour
  • – 50g grated cheddar cheese
  • – 2 eggs (1 for eggwash)
  • – 2 tbsp milk

(For the whipped olive butter)

  • – 100g Hojiblanca olives
  • – 250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • – 1 tsp ground sea salt
  • – 1 tsp ground black pepper

(To decorate)

  • – 16 Manzanilla olives, halved lengthways
  • – 1 jar cranberry jelly

 

Method

  1. 1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (fan) and line a baking tray with parchment.
  2. 2. In a large mixing bowl, rub together the self-raising flour and chilled butter cubes until a crumb consistency is achieved.
  3. 3. Add in the grated cheese and continue to rub into the crumbly mix to make the cheese pieces smaller.
  4. 4. Make a well in the centre before adding in 1 egg and the milk.
  5. 5. Using a fork, start to bring the dough together, eventually taking over with your hands. Be careful not to overwork the dough.
  6. 6. Tip out onto a floured surface and push out with your fingers until a 2 cm thickness is achieved.
  7. 7. Cut out rounds using a 4cm cutter being mindful not to twist as you press down.
  8. 8. Place the scones on the lined tray, bring the scraps of dough together and repeat steps 6 & 7 until all of the dough has been used.
  9. 9. Lightly whisk the remaining egg in a small bowl with a fork and use a pastry brush to eggwash each scone.
  10. 10. Bake for 10-15 minutes until risen and golden on top. Allow to cool.
  11. 11. While the scones are baking, place the room temperature butter in a stand mixer or a large bowl if using an electric hand whisk.
  12. 12. Whisk in the mixer or by hand until the butter is light and fluffy (approx. 5 minutes).
  13. 13. Place the 100g of olives in a food processor and blend to a finely chopped consistency. This could also be done by hand.
  14. 14.Fold the finely chopped olives into the butter, followed by the salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning.
  15. 15. Halve the cooled cheese scones, then top each half with a generous helping of whipped butter, ½ tsp of cranberry jelly and an olive half.
  16. 16. Arrange on your platter of choice and serve.