Apparently, once you hit the age of 40 your number of tastebuds starts to decline. Which explains why, the older I get, the more I adore strong flavours – blue cheese, chillies, pickles – basically anything that makes my mouth come alive.
So when I was invited by the team behind Olive It! to create a recipe using some delicious Spanish ingredients and using olives as the ‘hero’ of the dish, I couldn’t resist taking up the challenge. A few days later a package arrived packed full of tasty treats; chorizo, manchego cheese, Iberian ham, black and green olives and a cheeky Spanish red.
Usually I’d eat all of the above straight from a plate, tapas style, but this time I had to be a bit more creative. I’m not a great cook, so I knew I had to keep it simple. First I considered a paella, but it seemed a bit obvious… then I realised what I had to make – spicy Spanish pizza!
I cheated a teensy bit by buying some Sainsbury’s pizza base mix, and kneaded it into a dough. After leaving it to rise for 20 minutes, I rolled it out, smeared it with tomato puree, and covered it with all the delicious ingredients – grated manchego cheese, then strips of the Iberian ham, slices of chorizo and loads of delicious olives. Lastly, I added some marinated artichokes (the perfect partner for black olives).
After 20 minutes in the fan oven at 180 degrees the base was crisp, and the cheese perfectly melted. It looked amazing (if I do say so myself) but it tasted even better; a spicy, flavoursome, mouthwatering umami explosion.
Serve with salad, and a glass of that Spanish red wine. Perfecta!