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Tapas Tuesdays: 6 Simple Tapas for Beginners

August 26, 2009 by Joan Nova in Appetizers, Small Meals with BIG FLAVORS, Spanish/Tapas | 19 Comments

For the next few weeks, I’m going to present a variety of tapas. Why? Because we all love them and because I’m working on a project related to my photos which, if successful, I’ll present at the end of the series. But, first, the genesis and metamorphosis of tapas.

It’s been said that the tradition of tapas began when open-air bars in Spain would place a piece of bread over the top of a wine glass to keep the flies from landing in the drink. That evolved into a simple topping on the bread . As time passed and with the globalization of cuisines in the last few decades, the term ‘tapas’ has taken on the meaning of ‘small plates’, ranging from bar snacks (like almonds) — to appetizers —  to small, yet sophisticated, entreés. There is no wrong tapa in my book! 
Almendras: Unsalted almonds tossed with a little olive oil and baked in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Remove and salt liberally with coarse sea salt. Sprinkle smoked paprika and toss again. Best served slightly warm.

Marinated Olives: Mixed olives, olive oil, 1 clove of garlic, hot red pepper flakes and fresh lemon (or orange) zest.

Cazuela de Garbanzos con Chorizo: Sauteed chorizo bits, 1 clove garlic, 1 can of garbanzo beans with liquid, lots of oregano. Cook down till thickened and porridge-like.

Pan de Tomate: Toasted bread rubbed with raw garlic and topped with ground tomatoes. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle coarse salt.

Anchovy Wrapped Around Spanish Olive. This one is really easy!

Marinated Mushrooms. Cut in quarters. Saute in olive oil with finely chopped garlic without moving for a few minutes. Add a splash of white wine and cook a few more minutes till tender. Finish with S+P and a squeeze of lemon and chopped parsley.

Come back next Tuesday for more tapas. Hasta luego!

NOTE: Some recipes found on FOODalogue are offered without ingredient quantities. They're meant as a guide to food pairings and techniques to be experimented with … in your own kitchen … to your own spice and taste levels … to your preferred portion sizes … and to however many people you’re cooking for. A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!


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  1. Peter G says:

    Yes please! I love all kinds of tapas…I’ll have a bit of each thanks!

  2. Vicki says:

    I love tapas, it is my favorite way to eat. I can’t wait to make these for company at he beach over labor day! They will be so impressed! Thank you Joan.

  3. Norma says:

    What a great idea…Tuesday Tapas…TT day

  4. Erica says:

    I love tapas!!! Great pictures Joan.

  5. Aurora Gil says:

    Reminds me of sunny Spain, jugs of wine, and happy times. Tuesday Ole!

  6. Katie Davis says:

    Yum! I’m hoping for gambas a la plancha and tortilla espanola!

  7. Arlene says:

    Tapas–dim sum, antipasti, smorgsbord–I love them all. I’ve never had the chickpeas with chorizo, but will remedy that soon.

  8. RobinSue says:

    Joan I like this series and can’t wait to see more. I love the garbanzo beans recipe and was wondering if you serve it like that with a small fork or put some over a piece of French bread like the Pan de Tomate?

    • Joan says:

      I serve it like that…it’s also a fave side at a lot of our buffet-type dinners. But, there’s no reason why you couldn’t put it on a piece of bread. You could also make a meal with it by adding rice. It’s delish.

  9. Diana says:

    Joan, I love this! Que Rico!! Would you mind if I joined you on Tapas Tuesday? Sort of like a carnival or something? I’ll post a tapa on Tuesday also and link to your site, let me know what you think? Also, I’m using your blog as an example in my web class today. Your banner is an excellent example of typography in web design. I’m sure my students will like it as much as I do!!

    Un Beso!


  10. I love food that comes in “small packages”, especially tapas, because I can try a little of a lot of dishes. All of these look terrific! I could see myself enjoying them all!

  11. SippitySup says:

    What a great post you could throw a memorable party with just these 6 simple recipes. GREG

  12. excellent array of tapas for beginners! i love this idea as a post!! most of them don’t even require cooking. you’re a smart one, joan nova.

    god, tapas… you know how we feel about tapas (and spain in general). i’m craving some right now.

  13. Delicious food that can be devoured in one tender mouthful is perfect in my books.

  14. Now I know what I’ll be making at my next Bunco party!

    Tamara at BuzzFood

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