By “tapases with normal ingredients” I mean ingredients that are not specific to Spain or that you can find only in specialty shops. One example of specific ingredients would be my favorite one that is the featured image of this post: pimientos padron. Padron peppers are a Spanish variety originating from Galicia. They are small and rather sweet and are eaten fried in olive oil with sea salt on top. But you really will have difficulties finding them anywhere else bu Spain.
As a big fan of tapas, I always try to invent simple ones that can be eaten in any country. I like the very small tapases, they are great for a snack and a wonderful way of not overeating. I personally think this is the big secret of the Mediterranean diet, not very healthy ingredients, but the size of their meals. Eating smaller bites on a longer period of time will make you realize you are full and you don’t need more.
The tapas word originates from the verb “tapar”, which means “to cover” and it was first used in 19th century as a verb: the action of covering the small sherry wine glass with a piece of tiny bread, so that the flies won’t go in the wine. This tiny piece of bread was later on covered with all type of goodies and became one of the most iconic meals in Spain.
Here are my 4 simple ideas for tapases with normal ingredients. Warning: 3 out of 4 contain avocado!
1. Guacamole with avocado and tomatoes
Starting from the most simple combination. I prepare some quick quacamole – squash some avocado, add lemon juice, powder garlic and salt. Spread it on the bread and decorate it with more avocado and tomatoes. Simple and efficient!
2. Guacamole with goat cheese and salmon
I find that avocado goes the best with smoked salmon. Quite weird, since both are high in fat, but a squeeze of lemon solves that usually. You don’t need to have a fancy cheese roll with salmon and dill, just put some smoked salmon, a bit of goat cheese (option), a squeeze of lemon and there you have a great tapas.
3. Anchovy on roasted pepper
After you acquire the taste of anchovies, you might still have issues finding good combinations for it. It is very salty usually and it doesn’t go well with most things. But since I do like the original taste of it and since it is such a simple source of protein and iron for me, I do try to find all the time very good combos. This one is great!
4. Avocado with shrimps
This will never go wrong, if you are among the people liking shrimps. Spanish people like them so much they eat them as a snack: a full plate of boiled cold shrimps, that’s all. And beer! Slice some well ripe avocado, put two shrimps with no shell, sprinkle a bit of olive oil, garlic powder and lemon juice. Delicious!
These were my ideas for simple tapases with normal ingredients. If you do have the typical ingredients like jamon serrano, chorrizo or goat cheese in your country you can be a lot more colorful. Either way, a great snack for people who don’t like eating big portions and a huge place for inventing a lot of personal combinations!
If you would like to get more ideas from the Spanish cuisine, you can check my recipes here.