The Latin American food explosion hit the Gold Coast in Queensland with the opening late last year of Pablo Pablo Latin Eatery & Wine Bar in Palm Beach. This hip tapas bar and restaurant is a real find if you're looking for delicious, tasty food accompanied by excellent wines. Paella, sangria and live music are on the menu Sunday nights while during the week, the menu ranges from Plate de Carne (jamon serrano, rodriguez chorizo, sobrasada, marinated olives) to numerous vegetarian options (Maiz a la Plancha - grilled corn cob pieces, smoked butter, Manchego, lime wedge and Duo de Asparragos - green asparagus, olive oil, saffron aioli, thyme crumb). This recipe is courtesy of head chef Cal, and reflects his sophisticated yet simple style of tapas: big punchy flavours with a colourful Aussie twist.
- baby beetroot - 2 bunches
- sugar - 1/2 cup
- red wine - 1 cup
- salt - a pinch
- water - to cover
- For the salad and zucchini chips:
- orange - 1, juiced and strained
- almonds - 80g skin on, roasted and crushed
- chardonnay vinegar - 30ml
- extra virgin olive oil - 50ml
- zucchini - 2 small, cut into chips
- cornflour - 1 cup
- smoked paprika - 1 teaspoon
- water - 3/4 cup
- vegetable or cottonseed oil - for deep-frying
- egg yolk - 1
- saffron - a pinch
- grape seed oil - 200ml
- olive oil - 100ml
- hot water - 30ml
Serve 4, as part of a tapas meal
Wash and trim the beetroot. Place in a small saucepan with the sugar, red wine, salt and water to cover. Bring to the boil, turn down to a simmer, cover with a lid, and cook gently for 45 minutes or until tender.
Remove beetroot from liquid. When cool enough to handle, peel and cut beetroot into quarters. Place in a flat baking tray. Add the orange juice, almonds, vinegar and olive oil and place under pre-heated grill minutes or until beetroot is warmed through, about 10 minutes, turning occasionally.
Make the batter for the zucchini chips: mix together the cornflour, paprika and water until smooth. Heat vegetable or cottonseed oil in a medium saucepan to 180degC. Drop the zucchini chips into the batter and fry in batches until golden and crispy. Drain on paper towels.
For the aioli: place egg yolk and saffron in a blender. With motor running, gradually add the oils until thick, then add the hot water.
To plate: place beetroot with some of the juices on a plate in an attractive pattern. Top with zucchini chips and drizzle with aioli. Garnish with edible flowers.