This simple, tasty hors d’oeuvre starts with making aioli packed with flavor from smoked paprika, garlic, and a hint of anchovy. Next, new potatoes are coated with oil and salt and baked, then split in half and cooled. When the potatoes are ready, they’re topped with a dollop of the aioli and a sprinkling of pimiento peppers. Serve these morsels with a cold glass of sangría at your next cocktail party.
Game plan: Make sure to let the aioli rest for at least 2 hours before serving so the flavors have a chance to mingle and develop—skipping this step will give you a flat aioli with an unpleasantly sharp garlic flavor. The aioli can also be made up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated in a container with a tightfitting lid.
1Place the garlic, mustard, and egg in a food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Process until evenly combined, about 5 seconds.
2With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil in a thin stream, followed by the vegetable oil, until completely combined and thickened, about 5 minutes. Stop the processor, add the lemon juice, anchovy, paprika, and cayenne, and season with salt. Pulse until thoroughly mixed, about 10 (1-second) pulses. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then pulse again until all of the ingredients are evenly incorporated. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to let the flavors mellow and meld, or refrigerate in a container with a tightfitting lid for up to 3 days.
For the potatoes:
1Heat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
2Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and prick each one once or twice with a fork. Drizzle with the oil, sprinkle with the measured salt, and toss to combine. Bake until easily pierced with a knife, about 30 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet until cool enough to handle, about 10 to 15 minutes.
3Cut the potatoes in half and return them to the baking sheet cut-side up. Using your fingers, gently squeeze the sides of each potato half to slightly break apart the flesh. Season with salt and set aside to cool to almost room temperature, about 30 minutes. (Do not put the aioli on the hot potatoes or it will melt and drip off.)
1Just before assembling, mix the pimientos and salt in a small bowl.
2Dollop the potato halves with 1 teaspoon of the aioli each and divide the pimientos over the tops.