Spring is here. It’s time to say “¡Olé!” and invite friends over for some tapas. The Spanish know how to live (fiestas, anyone?), and the best way to mimic them is to pay homage to some of their favorite foods.
Tapas are probably the most recognizable part of Spanish gastronomy. The word “tapa” literally means “lid,” and legend has it that the name comes from the tradition of giving a small dish for free with any libation and balancing the dishes on the glass, therefore covering it.
Any tapas bar worth its salt will have a couple basics: Spanish tortilla, a heavenly concoction of eggs, onions and potatoes; a wide variety of “pintxos,” a Basque specialty consisting of a slice of bread and various toppings held together with a skewer; and, finally, a refreshing gazpacho to wash it all down.
Tell your friends to bring the sangria, and prepare to transport your taste buds to Barcelona.
1 yellow onion, sliced
1/3 bunch of parsley
6 yukon gold potatoes, diced
Cook onions in olive oil over medium heat until slightly browned.
Scoop out onions into a mixing bowl.
Beat eggs in the same bowl as the onions and season generously with salt and pepper.
Lightly fry the potatoes in a generous amount of olive oil until the edges are golden brown.
Scoop out the potatoes and add to the egg mixture. Make sure to reserve the oil; we’ll use some later.
Add the parsley to the egg and potato mixture and let sit for a few minutes.
Put the pan back on medium-high heat with a couple tablespoons of oil.
Add the egg mixture back into a pan and cook until the bottom is cooked enough to slide off the pan, making sure to unstick the edges as it cooks. The top will still be raw.
Once the tortilla has solidified enough, slide it onto a plate, cover with the pan and flip.
Cook for a couple minutes to make sure the egg has cooked thoroughly. Real Spaniards will argue that the tortilla should not be cooked past medium, meaning the middle portion will still be a touch runny.
1 can of tuna, drained (look for albacore packed in olive oil)
1 can of piquillo peppers, drained
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
Squeeze of lemon juice
1/2 shallot, small diced
6 long slices of baguette or other crusty bread
1/3 bunch of parsley
1 clove garlic, finely diced
Toast the slices of bread.
In a small bowl, combine tuna, half the mayonnaise, lemon juice, shallots and all but a pinch of parsley.
Season with salt and pepper.
Stuff each pepper with about 2 tablespoons of the tuna mixture.
In a small bowl, mix the rest of the mayonnaise, parsley and garlic.
Spread the mayo mixture on the bread, place a single stuffed pepper on top and skewer to secure.
1 pound ripe tomatoes, the redder and juicier the better
1 small green bell pepper
2 piquillo peppers (can use leftovers from the previous recipe)
1/3 bunch parsley
1 clove garlic
1 slice dry toasted bread, diced
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1 small can of tomato juice
Peel and chop cucumbers.
Chop shallot, tomatoes and peppers.
Puree all the vegetables along with the garlic and vinegar.
Add the tomato juice to help the consistency. Season to taste.
Keeping the blender running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil.
Garnish with parsley, toasted bread and olive oil.