Mmm…we love everything about spices – from their aromas to how they add distinct flavors to every dish. Whether we’re blending garam masala into sweet potato and chickpea patties, or sprinkling za’atar on popcorn for a tasty afternoon snack, or tossing roasted potatoes with some Old Bay seasoning, we have to admit – we’re hooked on spices.
If you’re looking to get the most out of your spices, or you want to learn how to bring your meals to life with just a sprinkle here or there, then this Ultimate Spice Guide is just for you. Hop on over to discover the exciting world of spices, and then come back here, because today, we’re focusing on one main spice: pimenton.
Pimenton is Spanish paprika that has been smoked, so a.k.a. smoked paprika. It comes in three varieties – sweet, bittersweet, and spicy – and it is an amazing spice to really add that special ‘wow!’ to your dishes! How, you ask?
Well, pimenton is slowly smoked over a fire, which gives it that rich, smoky flavor. (If you’re a fan of bacon, you know all about that smokiness!) When tossed with other ingredients and cooked, it’ll release all of that good flavor and aroma.
Ethnic cuisines are distinguished by the spices that they use [get the Spices by Cuisine infographic here], and pimenton is typically used for, you guessed it! Spanish food. So whenever you want to give your dinner a Spanish flair, try adding some smoked paprika.
Roasted cauliflower is one of our favorite veggie side dishes, so to enjoy it often but not get tired of it, we switch it up with different spices. For example, we recently tossed it with Indian spices. But using smoked paprika and cumin this time really changed the entire flavor profile.
The final touch truly makes this dish complete – a sprinkle of chopped, fresh mint. If there’s one thing we love just as much as spices, it’s fresh herbs! And yes, we do have a lesson fully devoted to herbs and all the good things that come with them.
Fresh mint is the perfect balance for the smoky, warm paprika, giving the entire dish a touch of brightness and sweetness. Serve with Spanish Lamb Meatballs (shown in the photo above) that are also spiced with pimenton, and you got yourself a fantastic spring meal.
Have leftover mint? Use it in one of these recipes:
For More Smarts:
If you’re using the spicy variety of smoked paprika, be careful because it can be quite hot! Use a little at a time and taste as you go. And if you can’t find smoked paprika, you can still use regular paprika to impart sweet and warm notes to your cauliflower and chickpeas.
Cauliflower seems to be one of those veggies that is annoying to chop. How do you get the stem and leaves off without making a mess everywhere? Our video here will show you how! However, instead of leaving the cauliflower chopped, we slice it thinly so that it’ll cook faster in the oven (more surface area means food will cook faster) and get crispier.
This recipe calls for fresh mint, but you won’t be using the whole bunch. Learn how to extend the shelf life of fresh herbs by properly storing it like this:
As with all roasted veggie dishes, all you need is a handy and inexpensive sheet pan.
For more kitchen and equipment and tool smarts, visit our ‘Essential Kitchen Cookware and Tools’
- Mint, fresh – 1 Tbsp, finely chopped
- Cauliflower – 1 head, thinly sliced
- Garbanzo beans – 1 can, drained and rinsed
- Cooking oil – 1 Tbsp
- Paprika, smoked – 2 tsp preferably Spanish Pimentón
- Cumin – 2 tsp
- Lemons – 1/2, juice of
- Mint – Prep as directed.
- Cauliflower – Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Garbanzo beans – Drain and rinse.
- Preheat the oven to 450F (232C) degrees.
- Arrange cauliflower on a sheet pan and drizzle with oil, smoked paprika, cumin, and some salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
- Place cauliflower in the oven and roast until the edges are brown and become crisp, ~20 minutes. When the cauliflower has browned, add chickpeas to pan and allow to heat through another 2 minutes.
- Remove cauliflower and chickpeas from oven when crispy. Drizzle with fresh lemon juice, and sprinkle with fresh mint. Enjoy!