In little costal taverns glasses with wine and beers used to be covered with little plates to protect them from annoying insects flying around. Later on these plates were used to serve spicy appetizers to encourage visitors to order more drinks.
Nowadays typical Appetizers from Spain include green and black olives, cheese, ham, spicy sausage and various seafood salads and appetizers. It is served with beer, wine or cider as well as an appetizer in any café or tavern at any time.
450g of green olives
250 ml of olive oil
3 red chillies
2 bay leaves
4 cloves of garlic
Pour 250 ml of olive oil in a small saucepan; add 3 red chillies, 2 bay leaves, 4 cloves of thick sliced garlic, and a few sprigs of thyme.
Heat it up slowly for 1 – 2 minutes without letting garlic to become dark. Let it to cool down completely. Stuff tightly 450g of green olives in a jar with brine and covered with the oil from the saucepan.
Olives must be covered with oil completely, so that if necessary, top up with regular olive oil. Store for 4 days in a cool dark place.
Preparation time: 5 min
Cooking time: 10 min
Other Appetizers from Spain – Potato tortilla
It is just Spanish omelet! However how good it is when served in small pieces!
Prep time: 4 min
Cooking time: 45 min
Heat 150 ml of olive oil in a pan, add200 gramsof finely cut potatoes, 1 large finely sliced Spanish onion and stew it for 30 seconds on low till the potatoes become soft while onion becomes golden color.
In a large bowl beat 6 eggs and season them. Add all the contents of the frying pan (including oil) to the eggs, stir, then pour into the pan. Cook on medium heat for about 8 – 10 min till the base is hard enough to be removed from the pan.
Then put the pan into the grill oven for 5 minutes until the top is golden brown.
Serve tortilla hot or cold cut into pieces.
Grilled sweet pepper
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Cut 2 seeded peppers into 4 pieces and place them on the grill with peel up for 8 – 10 minutes till it gets black. Put the papers into a plastic bag, seal it properly and let them cool down. Then remove the papers from the plastic bag and peel them off. The peel should come off easily. Once the peel is removed put the peppers on a plate and crumble 100g of goat cheese on top. Sprinkle it with 2 tbsp of dried pine nuts and olive oil, add some seasoning.
Some ideas for tapas
Thinly sliced sausage (chorizo) or ham (jamon).
Boiled new potatoes fried in olive oil with fine strips of roasted red pepper and fresh thyme.
Cooked squid or octopus rings.
Boiled large white beans, fried in olive oil with fresh mint and lightly fried Spanish onion and garlic.
Pickled and roasted vegetables (zucchini, eggplant, peppers and onions)
The most common ingredients of Spanish cuisine:
Olives. There are hundreds of different types of olives inSpainranging from back to light yellow ones. Olives are beautiful with a glass of real Spanish sherry.
Tomatoes. Spainis famous for delicious sweet juicy tomatoes grown under the sun. No wonder, tomato sauce is essential for many Spanish dishes.
Parsley is one of the most popular herbs for tapas. It is used in sauces, marinades and salads.
Manchego cheese served with thin slices of quince pastes.
Anchovies. Fresh marinated anchovies are delicious serve on a platter with strips of sweet pepper.
Serrano ham (jamon serrano). Thin slices of dried ham served with marinated olives in delicate vase.
Chorizo. Pork sausage with pepper, garlic and paprika flavor. Available in sticks or thinly sliced, like salami.
Crispy bread is always served with tapas. Tapas would be incomplete without fresh crunchy bread with plain butter.
Olive oil. Serve extra virgin olive oil as a dip or sprinkle with it your dishes. Use regular olive oil for cooking.
Garlic. Finely chopped garlic gives the most flavor. Whole cloves however are used for more delicate taste.
Sweet pepper. Just grill some sweet peppers, remove the black skin and sprinkle with olive oil. It is a perfect side dish or appetizer.
Almonds. Roast almond with olive oil until brown crust and serve them sprinkled with sea salt.