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When award-winning chef Jose Garces opened a new location of his Philadelphia wine bar Tinto this winter in Palm Springs, locals discovered that his Basque-inspired cuisine was equally fit for the California sunshine. Tinto’s menu of modern tapas (or pintxos, in Basque country) includes Serrano-ham-wrapped figs, marinated Mantequilla olives and more substantial small plates like these crab toasts, in which the Iron Chef tops toast rounds with a thin layer of tomato puree, a sliver of silky avocado and a spoonful of creamy crab salad. Serve the dish as a starter at your next dinner party and your guests will be sending their thanks to Spain.
Roasted garlic oil gives the toast a warm flavor that’s subtler than traditional garlic bread. Try this oil from Annie’s, which is also great drizzled over pasta.
Piment d’Espelette is a sweet, mildly spicy ground pepper from Spain’s Basque country. This Viridian Farms version has a slightly smoky flavor, which intensifies in roasted or pan-seared dishes.
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