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Cook & Taste Barcelona Cooking Classes, Barcelona, Spain

One of the best decisions we made while visiting Barcelona was to sign up for a Spanish cooking class, Vegano style! I know that it may sound a bit touristy, but we had a blast. Although we were 45 minutes late (we got lost in the Gothic Quarter), the Cook & Taste Class lasted for over four hours, and we learned how to make some amazing dishes, including beet and watermelon gazpacho, roasted veggies over flatbread, vegetable paella, and pears in spiced wine! Our instructor and chef “Marco” was great in every way, as was the food, and the local red wine (or dirty water as Marco called it), that kept being poured all afternoon!

I am not a great cook, but here are my takeaways for each Vegan recipe:

1. Gazpacho – The key is always fresh ingredients, and with gazpacho, it is no different. One of the attendees mentioned that she had heard that it was important to refrigerate the final batch overnight for the best results. Marco agreed that the flavors can come together a little better if the dish is prepared the night before, but that a few hours in the fridge should be more than sufficient (see recipe below). I questioned whether I would want to surrender fresh cut watermelon for a cold soup dish, but I marveled at how I could not only taste the watermelon, but also the tomatoes and beets. It was a delightful combination, and well worth the sacrifice!

2. Roasted Vegetables over Flat Bread – I had never seen this before. Something so simple, and yet delicious. Marco made the flatbread dish as per the recipe below, but he also created a wonderful side treat by baking additional bread slices until lightly crisped, and then gently smearing the inside of a tomato over each piece like some kind of veggie butter. He drizzled a little oil, added some salt, and voila! With a bowl of olives, and a never ending supply of dirty water, we were suddenly having a great time!

3. Veggie Paella – Who knew that there was a science to properly cutting artichokes? The recipe below is self explanatory, and includes seafood. Marco made a smaller “vegano” version for us, without the seafood, and the many colored veggies of the main dish (I teased him about that as I was trying to gently nudge the other students to eat more visually appealing plant-based foods). Marco explained that one of the keys for good paella is the type of paprika that is added (I have included images of the “smoked” brand that we used, which was excellent). Although the pic of the final Veggie Paella dish may not be too colorful (the veggies we had were caramelized, and red wine was added), it was still wonderful, as all the flavors came together perfectly. 

4. Pears in spiced wine – Nothing to add here, except that my partner ate the entire dessert before I had a chance to try! 🙂

Thank you to Marco, and the entire staff at Cook & Taste Barcelona Cooking Classes! Everyone was lovely, and it was definitely one of the highlights of our trip. The bottom line? An unequivocal, and enthusiastic thumbs up, of course! 🙂

Click here for the Coook & Taste Barcelona Cooking Classes’ website.

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