Summer is coming, and what better cuisine to try making for the warm evenings than traditional Spanish tapas.

It is thought to have originated in the 19th century when many could not read and write, so instead of menus, innkeepers provided samples of their offerings for visitors to eat.

Now, tapas is a vital part of the Spanish culture and way of life.

Here’s five simple recipes from different regions of Spain for you to make at home.

Each recipe serves 4 people.

 

 

Escalivada - traditional Catalan roasted vegetables

Ingredients:

  • 3 red and 3 yellow peppers
  • 3 sliced aubergines
  • 4 peeled garlic cloves thinly chopped
  • 1 lemon
  • 200ml olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • Salt and/or paprika to taste

 

Directions:

  1. Cut the peppers lengthways getting rid of all the seeds.
  2. Place them skin side up on an oiled tray and grill them in a pre-heated oven at 250 degrees Celsius for around 10 minutes.
  3. Place in a covered medium sized bowl until cooled which should make them easier to peel the skin off.
  4. Place the sliced aubergines on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, make a few slits in them and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
  5. Drizzle the peppers with olive oil and serve alongside the aubergines.

Or - if you’ve got a little more time….

  1. Fry the peeled peppers adding the salt or paprika seasoning.
  2. Mix the oil, sherry vinegar and lemon juice in a bowl.
  3. First add the garlic to the bowl, then the peppers and aubergines.
  4. Place in a covered bowl and put in the refrigerator for about 2 to 4 hours before serving.

 

 

Spanish Omelette - Madrid

Ingredients:

  • 10 potatoes
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 onion
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt

 

Directions:

  1. Slice the potatoes thinly and sprinkle with salt as you place them in a bowl.
  2. Heat the olive oil at a medium heat in a frying pan.
  3. Add the potatoes, ensuring they’re covered in oil, and cook for 20 minutes.
  4. While cooking mix the eggs in a large bowl and add any seasoning you may like.
  5. Slice the onions separately and fry in another pan for 10 minutes until they caramelize.
  6. When potatoes are ready, remove them carefully into a strainer to drain the excess oil.
  7. When ready place add the onions and potatoes into the egg mixture and leave to sit for 20 minutes.
  8. After that time is up add, the mixture to the frying pan and cook for around seven minutes on both sides.               

 

 

Spiced crab cakes - from Andalucia

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 chili
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 chopped garlic clove
  • ½ lime
  • 250g white crab meat
  • Coriander
  • 250g potatoes
  • 1 egg
  • Plain flour
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Olive oil

Directions

  1. Crush and mix the fennel, cumin, peppercorn and chilli
  2. Add them to a mixing bowl with the onion, garlic, crab meat, coriander, potato, salt and the juice and grated zest of the half of a lime.
  3. Mix and place into the cake serving portions.
  4. Beat the egg, then cover each of the cakes in first the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs.
  5. Place the cakes in olive oil in a frying pan and cook until golden brown on both sides.

 

 

Pintxos Basque anchovies

Ingredients

  • 8 Anchovies fillets
  • 4 pepper slices
  • Salt and paprika
  • Flour
  • 1 egg
  • Olive oil
  • 4 slices of baguette
  • Lemon slices
  • Toothpicks (essential for it to be a true Pintxos, which is the Basque version of Tapas but served with toothpicks)

Directions

  1. Sprinkle salt and paprika on the anchovies to taste.
  2. Cut the pepper to the same size as the anchovies and pat dry
  3. Sandwich the pepper between two anchovies
  4. Roll them firstly in the flour, then the beaten egg and fry in olive oil at a medium to hot heat until golden brown.
  5. Place on a baguette, add a lemon slice and pierce with a toothpick.

 

 

Galician meatballs

Ingredients

  • 250g of pork sausage meat
  • 400g beef mince
  • ½ tablespoon chili flakes
  • 1 crushed garlic
  • A pinch of crushed parsley
  • 1 onion
  • Plain flour
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Deseeded red pepper
  • Paprika to season
  • 700g tomato puree

Directions

  1. Mix the sausage meat, mince, chilli flakes, garlic, parsley and half the onion together.
  2. On a flour covered surface craft the mixture into balls.
  3. Fry with olive oil in a pan until the balls are brown all over and place in an ovenproof dish.
  4. Fry the onion, pepper and paprika together, adding the puree a few minutes later and cook for a further five minutes.
  5. Add the sauce to the meatballs and place in an oven preheated to 190 Celsius for around 30 minutes.

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