This simple and speedy little tapas dish is served all over my favourite city of Sevilla, and is one I have enjoyed over and over again! Although every tapas bar has its own way of serving it, the combination of earthy mushrooms, salty jamón and fragrant fino sherry is a winner every time!
I like to serve it simply with some lovely crusty bread to soak up the delicious juices, and of course a chilled glass of fino sherry, ¡claro!
Ingredientes (Serves 4 as tapas)
This delicious cold garlic and almond soup reminds me of hot summers on the coast in Andalucía, enjoying a chilled ajo blanco in a little chiringuito at lunchtime looking out to sea! Its simplicity is not only in its ingredients but also in its appearance; this white, pure looking soup, with just a few grapes or small chunks of melon scattered on top is quite beautiful. It is a great alternative to a traditional, tomato based gazpacho, and at this time of the year with autumn and winter germs looming a big hit of garlic and almonds can only help us ward off the colds! It is so quick and easy to prepare with no cooking required, just a blender, and will also keep in the fridge for at least 3 or 4 days, if it lasts that long!
Ingredientes (Serves 6)
Although the Spanish are not really known for their desserts, they do love a sweet pastry or cake with a coffee, or even with a glass of cider or sweet sherry in the afternoon. You will see the windows of pastelerías (cake shops) laden with beautiful little cakes ready to be enjoyed, often using a mixture of fruit and sponge with some sort of jelly or glaze on top.
This delicious, moist cake is a variation of one of my favourites growing up: a scrumptious apple cake my mum used to make with fruit from our orchard mixed with cinnamon and topped with brown sugar. This Spanish version from Asturias is similar in many ways, with the addition of cider, which I am sure my mum would have approved of!
Ingredientes (Serves 8)
Try these delicious little lemony cakes for a weekend breakfast treat! They be found on the breakfast table in many Spanish households, and are definitely always a hit in mine (any time of day!). They are usually enjoyed with a coffee and being fairly dense they hold together when ‘dunked’ into your hot drink in the morning, delicious! I like to make them in traditional fairy cake tins, but in Spain they are also often square or rectangular in shape, perhaps even easier for dunking! You can even make a batch in advance, and as they are not iced they will keep extremely well in the freezer.
I use the ‘all in one’ method for this recipe using my mixer (you can also do this with a whisk), or there are instructions for doing it by hand if you prefer.
Ingredientes (makes 12-16 cakes)
¡Disfrútalo con un café! (Enjoy with a coffee!)
Eggs are used so much in Spanish cooking, a cheap ingredient that can be elevated with just a few simple additions, and this little tapas is no exception. Often seen in Spanish bars stuffed with tuna, in this recipe I add some simple spicing to the egg using paprika, and then top with the delicious bite of a boquerón (fresh anchovy) marinated in vinegar and oil, delicious and so quick to prepare! If you don’t like fish, you can replace the anchovy with half a griddled asparagus spear tossed in sherry vinegar and split length ways. In Spain they would be more likely to be served with a beer rather than wine, but I also think a nice dry and chilled manzanilla or fino sherry works very well!
These delicious little meaty bites, smothered in a rich and slightly picante tomato sauce are a staple of the Spanish tapas bar, especially in the heartland of Spain, where meat is on the menu more than seafood. The dish is a great example of how simple Spanish cooking can produce wholesome tasty food, and is popular with both the grown ups and the little ones in our house! I tend to make a large batch of meatballs (double the amount of meat below) and then freeze half of them before cooking to be used again the next time.
Ingredientes (Serves 6-8 as a tapa)
My first try of empanada came on a school exchange trip to the beautiful Salamanca, when on a picnic the lovely Spanish family I was staying with produced this huge, amazing looking rectangular pie. It was cut into great big slices and passed it round us all, oozing with a thick tomato sauce, vegetables and tuna. It was absolutely delicious!
Since then I have had many more empanadas, with many variations on the filling, and think the smaller ‘empanadillas’ are a great Spanish version of our slightly drier English pasty! This recipe is one I tweaked for my husband, who is not keen on the addition of tuna. The egg adds a lovely extra flavour but could always be left out if you prefer.
These little beauties are great in packed lunches, for children and grown ups alike! You can also make a batch up and freeze them before cooking to get out and pop in the oven whenever you need them.
Ingredientes (Make 6 to 8 empanadillas)
This amazingly healthy, chilled vegetable soup orginates from the South of Spain and is not only a staple in the Andalucian diet, but also seen on almost every menu del día blackboard. Designed to cool and refresh in the heat, it really does hit the spot, and in the summer months Spaniards like to keep a batch of gazpacho in the fridge ready to enjoy at any time.
Made from only fresh raw vegetables, olive oil and vinegar it is a very healthy way to start a meal or snack. The best gazpacho I have had was in one of my favourite restaurants in Sevilla (El Rio Grande), where it was topped with chopped spring onions and jamón as well as the traditional diced vegetables (shown in the photo below!).
Eaten from a bowl or drunk in a glass, Gazpacho is so easy to make, and has to be one the most tasty ways to cool down on a hot day!
Preparación: (serves 4-6 in bowls)
So to celebrate World Tapas Day on June 16th, I want to share with you one of the quickest, simplest and yet most delicious tapas you can make yourself at home! Only two ingredients and one pan needed, and it takes not more than ten minutes from start to finish!
In Spain they love asparagus, and will often serve the tinned white asparagus with salads, as well as enjoying the fresh green spears when they are available. It is currently in season here and as a result is available (and on offer) in all the supermarkets at the moment. I love it, with so many dishes, but this one for me sums up what tapas is all about: being able to create a simple and tasty dish with very few ingredients in very little time!
Ingredientes (Serves 4 as a tapa)
The name of this Spanish omelette, ‘tortilla’ actually means a small cake or tart, and really refers to the shape and depth of this delicious dish, which can be found in any Spanish restaurant or bar the length and breadth of the country! It is also the most common filling for a bocadillo (sandwich/ baguette), packed into hundreds of lunchboxes across Spain each day.
There are many variations of course, from the tortilla brava in Madrid, where they serve it with a spicy tomato sauce, to one made with peppers and chorizo. However, the best tortilla I ever tasted was that made by a Spanish friend of mine, Ana, in her home in Gijón in the North of Spain. Made in the more traditional way with just potatoes, onions and egg, the key is to take your time and not rush it. I have spent the last 10 or so years using her recipe and having fantastic results each time, so here it is!
Ingredientes (Serves 6-8 sliced up as a tapas dish, or cuts into 20 pincho squares as in the picture)
Metódo (Main steps in the photo above to help!)
(Don't forget! If you fancy eating but not cooking this tortilla, why not join our next beginners Spanish course with tapas starting June 22nd! Click here for more details)