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)
This amazingly tasty little tapas dish is found across Spain, although it originates as peasant food from the South where the beans are grown in abundance. I first sampled it in the gorgeous sun soaked garden of a little tapas bar in the beautiful Andalucian city of Córdoba (well worth a visit!), and although it’s offered as a tapas dish in bars, in Spanish households it is frequently served as a side dish to both grilled fish and roasted meat. In my opinion this truly delicious dish is not only perfect served hot with crusty bread to soak up the salty, umptious juices, but also cold as a salad for all those summer barbeques heading our way!
Ingredientes (Serves 4-6)
This slightly spiced, warm and comforting tapa is firmly rooted on the menus of traditional tapas bars across the south of Spain, and in particular in Sevilla. This became was one of my weekly staples when living in the city as a student, and has remained a firm favourite ever since!
The use of spinach in Spanish dishes began with the Arab traders who brought it into the country in the 12th century, along with chickpeas from the Middle East. These two ingredients, mixed with the warming cumin and paprika, really make this an ideal dish to have in these cold winter months, and although it is traditionally a tapas dish, I also think it goes beautifully as a side dish with lamb, or even with some good quality sausages!
Ingredients (to make enough for a medium tapas or a side dish for 4) :
I first tried this delicious little pincho last year in the narrow tapas streets of Logroño in La Rioja, on a trip to celebrate my husband Nick’s 40th birthday, which just happened to fall on the weekend of the Logroño wine festival, what a bonus!
The region of La Rioja is not only famed for its wine production, it is also rife with mushrooms, and the local tapas bars and restaurants celebrate these earthy yet delicate fungi in many of their dishes, in some cases even growing their own in cellars nearby!
One of Logroño’s most famous tapas haunts, Bar Soriano, serves only this dish, mushrooms griddled with sea salt and garlic butter, skewered onto a pincho stick but instead of jamón, serves a little shrimp at the top and a slice of bread at the bottom to soak up the flow of delicious buttery juices, ¡delicioso! People cram into the little bar, shouting for ‘un pincho y una rioja’, savour the gorgeous wine and the unbelievably flavoursome mushrooms, and then come back time and time again!
Since returning from Rioja we have recreated and enjoyed this tapas dish many times, the garlic aromas transporting us back to that bar in Logroño, and of course having the Rioja alongside! Sometimes I serve it with a shrimp, but my all time favourite is with a slice of Spanish jamón, or simply stick with just the mushroom if you prefer, it’s just as good!
Ingredients (to make 4 pinchos):