Wednesday, April 22, 2015


I had lunch today at one of my very favorite places, a tapas restaurant.  For those of you not familiar with the genre, tapas originated in Spain.  Sangria is a wine with fruit and brandy in it, served frequently there.  Unfortunately, it attracts flies.  Spanish taverns began covering glasses of sangria with a small plate to keep them out.  Not wanting to serve their customers an empty plate, they came up with small appetizers to put on the plates.  So tapas are small Spanish dishes that are meant to be shared.  They have a beautiful profile of sherry, olive oil, and garlic.

So I thought, what tapas dishes can we make from items we've recently had in our boxes, or things in season now?  Well, here goes!
Photo via Steamy Kitchen


A number of wonderful tapas dishes involve a strongly garlic-flavored olive oil.  It's great on artichokes too.  Another preparation uses lemon along with the wonderful garlic oil.


Manchego cheese is a sheep milk cheese commonly used in Spanish cuisine.  It pairs well with apples.  Slice the apples thinly, soak them in rum or brandy for a couple of hours, and serve with the cheese.  Another option is to make an apple paste.  A creamy salad of apples and walnuts is another classic tapas dish.
Photo via


Valencia is a city on the Medeterranean (east) coast of Spain, and they grow oranges in that region.  So yes, there are many tapas dishes that have oranges, such as this orange and onion salad.  There's plenty of beautiful, young asparagus in the store, so don't use canned asparagus when you make orange and lemon sauce to serve it with.


One of my very favorite tapas dishes is this one, spinach with currants and pine nuts.  I add a teaspoon or two of good sherry vinegar just before serving.  This chickpea and spinach stew from Seville is another delicious option. 
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