Culture

Weekend Refresh: The Color of Spain


From the abundant markets, to long, leisurely dinners, to the afternoon siesta, to fabulous art, Spain has summer living down to a “T”. This weekend, we’re inspired by that most relaxed of countries with “muy elegante” ideas for what to wear, eat, drink, and read.

Andalusia Street in Seville, Spain.

The Look


We can’t spend time in Spain and not come back wearing bold pops of color—especially reds, oranges, and rich pinks. Whether it’s the Alhambra sunset or the saffron in the paella, we love being surrounded by vibrant hues. For the cool nights that come after a hot day, a light, bright jacket is always a good idea (we love the architectural detailing at the neckline). Make the color really stand out from the crowd by pairing it with a crisp pant for a look that is both coastal and city-ready. A coordinated multi-strand necklace is a great way to add your own signature style.

Click to buy: Summer Chic Blazer, Serene Cuffed Crops, Ava Multi-Strand Short Necklace, Zeni Cuff, Zeni Hoop Earrings.

The Dish


Tapas are little bites of food served at wine bars all over Spain. Easy to put together and even easier to eat, our new favorite entertaining expert, New Zealand’s Annabel Langbein, shared one of her go-to’s: a summery crostini piled with zucchini and feta. Whether you’re dining a dos or having a larger get together, these satisfying mouthfuls go perfectly with a cool glass of Albariño (see below) on the patio. For more of Annabel’s great ideas, look for her TV series The Free Range Cook: Simple Pleasures now on your local PBS station and Create TV channels. Find out more at annabel-langbein.com.

Annabel Langbein’s Zucchini and Feta Crostini

4 to 6 servings
Time to cook: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium zucchini
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • a pinch of chili flakes
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1¾ oz feta, crumbled
  • 10-12 basil leaves, finely torn, plus extra to garnish
  • salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 24 crostini

Instructions:

  1. To make the topping, coarsely grate the zucchini onto a clean tea towel, pull up the sides, twist and squeeze tightly over a sink or bowl to remove liquid.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large fry pan and add zucchini, garlic, chili flakes and lemon zest.
  3. Stir-fry over a medium heat until zucchini has softened without browning (about 5 minutes).
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Mix in feta and the basil leaves and salt and pepper.
  6. To serve, pile zucchini mixture onto crostini or bruschetta bases and garnish with extra basil.
  7. To make crostini, cut slices from a country loaf, brush with olive oil and bake at 325°F until crisp.
  8. If making ahead of time, prepare the crostini and the topping separately and assemble at the last minute to ensure the crostini are served crisp.

For more mouthwatering Annabel Langbein recipes see annabel-langbein.com.

The Drink


We love sangria as much as the next person, but in the middle of the summer, nothing beats the freshness of an Albariño. Light, bright, minerally, and beautifully fragrant, our current pick is this Bodega Don Olegario Albariño. It’s the ideal summer white to sip with your friends as you enjoy a warm evening relaxing outdoors.

The Book


A view of Madrid like you’ve never seen before, this madcap caper tells the story of Atticus Craftsman, the most English of Englishmen, sent to Spain by his father to shut down a failing literary magazine. Little does he know what is about to come his way in the form of the five women who work there and who do not want to lose their jobs. Humorous, romantic, and utterly charming, The Altogether Unexpected Disappearance of Atticus Craftsman is a getaway in book form. Order it here!

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8 Responses

  1. Barb Zwak

    Love this idea ! Tying food and wine experience with the clothes. I watch Annabel often.
    The book is on my list to read.
    Great Chico’s experience

  2. Elena Lorenzo

    Thank you for bring the colors of Spain to your web. Love it and, of course, I miss Spain dearly!. I would prefer Albarino with shrimp or lobster. For those toasts, I would offer another type of white or even a good glass of “jerez”.

  3. Mary

    If I’m going to fit into the clothes I want to look at on your site, I don’t need to be tempted by FOOD!
    Or silly books. Please stick to clothes. Talbot’s site is easier to navigate anyway, so please take heed. This is a very bad marketing idea. Unless you’re merging with Williams-Sonoma?

  4. thank you for making my snowy & cold day refreshing Living in upstate Ny is wonderful spring , summer and fall However, winter is somewhat trying. Your blog gave me a lift in my day. Thanks. A Chico customer.

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