Lamb balls with chilli and Olives from Spain

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Lamb balls with chilli and Olives from Spain


250g of minced lamb meat

2 tablespoons of finely chopped red onion

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander powder

1 medium carrot

1 tablespoon chopped mint

Salt and black pepper

2 tablespoons of sweet pepper sauce

1 can of green olives

Mint leaves


Start by placing the lamb, red onion, ground cumin and ground coriander in a salad bowl along with the grated carrot and mint. Season with salt and pepper and mix through.

Wet your hands and form about 30 small meatballs. Afterwards, heat the olive oil in a nonstick pan and gently fry the meatballs for 10 to 15 minutes, turning occasionally, gently.

Drain the meatballs on a paper towel, then put them in a bowl and add the chilli sauce on top. Finally, place the olives among the meatballs and serve. Place mint leaves for decoration if desired.

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Olive and salt cod tortilla

Chef José Pizarro
6 serves

150g Manzanilla olives, halved

500g salt cod

80ml olive oil, plus 2-3 tbsp to fry the tortilla

2 large white onions, finely sliced

2 sprigs rosemary, leaves stripped

6 medium free-range eggs

Handful flat leaf parsley, finely chopped


Soak the cod in cold water, skin side up, for 24 hours, changing the water a couple of times.

Heat the oil in a large pan and gently fry the onions for a couple of minutes. Cover with a lid and cook over low heat for 20 minutes until really soft. Remove the lid and add the rosemary and cook for a further 20-25 minutes until really caramelised and sticky.

Meanwhile, remove the skin from the cod and flake into large pieces. Beat the egg with plenty of black pepper and gently fold in the warm onions, cod, olives and parsley.

Heat 2-3tbsp more of the olive oil in a 23cm nonstick frying pan and pour in the egg mixture. Swirl the pan over a hot heat until it starts to catch around the edges then reduce the heat and cook for 4-5 minutes until it starts to set around the edges but stays quite loose in the middle.

Cover the pan with a flat lid or board, turn the tortilla carefully onto it, don’t worry that it is still quite runny, it will all come back together when you continue to cook it. Slide the tortilla back into the pan then put the pan back on a low heat. Use a spatula to tuck the edges of the tortilla under to give it its characteristic curved look. Cook for a couple of minutes, then turn onto a board and serve. It should still be lovely and juicy in the middle when you cut into it

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Chicken and olive rice

Chef José Pizarro
4 serves

125g Gordal olives

8 skin on chicken thighs

Olive oil to fry

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely sliced

Good pinch saffron threads, soaked in 2 tbsp hot water for 10 minutes

100ml fino or other dry sherry

450g chopped fresh tomato

500ml fresh chicken stock

250g bomba rice


Season the chicken and fry in a little olive oil to brown all over. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add a little more oil to the pan and fry the onion for 10 minutes then add the garlic fry for 5 minutes more.

Add the saffron and its water then add the sherry and allow to bubble for a minute or two. Stir in the tomato and stock and bring to a simmer.

Return the chicken to the pan, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in the rice and olives and re-cover and simmer gently for 18 minutes until the rice is just cooked but still a little soupy. Serve straight away with lots of bread.

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Chorizo, olive and judion bean stew

Chef José Pizarro
6 serves

175g black Hojiblanca olives

Olive oil to fry

1 large onion, finely sliced

3 cloves garlic, finely sliced

2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked

250g raw chorizo, cut into chunks

Good pinch sweet smoked pimenton

200ml manzanilla sherry

2 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes

600g jar judion beans, drained


Heat a glug of oil in a sauté pan or casserole and gently fry the onions for 10 minutes until softened. Add the garlic, thyme, chorizo and paprika and fry until the chorizo starts to release all its fat.

Add the sherry and bubble for a few minutes to reduce by half then add the tomatoes and olives. Season well and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Add the beans and cook for a further 10 minutes then serve with crusty bread.

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Hake with tomato and olive salad

Chef José Pizarro
4 serves

200g mixed Manzanilla and black Hojiblanca olives

500g ripe mixed colour vine tomatoes

2 cloves garlic, crushed

Handful fresh oregano, leaves picked

Handful flat leaf parsley, leaves picked

2 tbsps white wine

1 tsp sherry vinegar

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil to drizzle

4 x 200g hake fillets


Slice the tomatoes and arrange on a platter with the olives. Scatter with garlic, herbs and lots of sea salt and black pepper. Whisk the white wine and vinegar with a little seasoning then whisk in the olive oil and pour over the tomatoes. Leave to stand.


Heat a little oil in a non-stick frying pan, season the hake and fry, skin side down, for 3-4 minutes until the skin is crisp and the fish almost cooked through. Flip over and cook for a minute on the other side then serve with the tomato and olive salad.

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Green olives with manchego, chorizo and melon

4 serves

11 jar or tin of queen olives

150g chorizo sausage, sliced

½ orange-fleshed cantaloupe melon

150g Machego cheese, cut into chunks

Basil leaves, to garnish


First of all, drain the olives from the brine and place them in a bowl.

Next, heat a non-stick frying pan and add the slices of chorizo. Cook over a medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes, until the fat begins to run.

Meanwhile, use a melon baller to remove the flesh from the melon, and add to the olives with the Manchego cheese. (Alternatively, you could just cut the melon into chunks.)

Finally, remove the chorizo from the heat and tip on to the olive mixture. Serve at once, garnished with fresh basil leaves.