“I don’t think anyone has ever counted the number of tapas bars in Madrid – I wouldn’t get much beyond three and would be in for the night! It’s a winning formula: barrels of sherry, cool white wines, heady reds and little plates of food that make you want to never stop sipping and eating. Good tapa is always simple: small plates of prawns in garlic and chilli, salty fried potatoes and thin slices of cured ham. A few places have a griddle or ‘plancha’ and use it to make the best of what’s cheap and plentiful in the market that morning. My tapa was inspired by such a place and has just grilled leeks, peppers and olives at its heart, and a bit of salty goat’s cheese to help my chilled white Rioja disappear!” Ainsley Harriott, Ainsley Harriott’s Street Food
- 1 yellow pepper (capsicum)
- 3 baby leeks, trimmed and cut into slices diagonally
- olive oil, for drizzling
- 1 tsp chopped thyme leaves
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- squeeze of lemon juice
- dash of aged balsamic vinegar
- handful black olives, pitted
- 1 x 2.5 cm-thick slice fresh goat’s cheese
- crusty bread, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Cooling time 15 minutes
Cook the yellow pepper over a naked flame or in a 180˚Coven, turning occasionally, until blackened and blistered all over. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and stand until cool enough to handle. Remove and discard the skin and seeds, then cut the flesh into thin strips.
Preheat a barbecue flat plate until very hot. Place the leeks on the barbecue, drizzle with a little oil and toss to coat. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then scatter over the yellow peppers. Sprinkle with thyme, then drizzle over a little more olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and continue to cook until the leeks and peppers until lightly charred, turning regularly. Just before they’re finished cooking, add the lemon juice and balsamic vinegar and toss to quickly combine. Transfer to a serving plate and scatter over the olives
Wipe the flat plate clean. Brush both sides of the goat’s cheese with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, then cook for 1-2 minutes on each side until nicely toasted. Place on top of the baby leek and roasted pepper salad and serve immediately with plenty of crusty bread.
Ainsley Harriott’s Street Food starts Thursday 6 August 2015 at 8.30pm on SBS and finishes 1 October 2015. Visit the Ainsley Harriott’s Street Food program page to catch-up on episodes online, scroll through recipes and read our interview with Ainsley.