I like things you can nibble. In Italy its aperitivi, served alongside a refreshing glass of wine or a G&T of an evening. In Turkey/the Middle East you have meze dishes that laden the table for everyone to help themselves to. In Spain, its tapas. I have just spent a lovely week, despite its sad end, in Mallorca where tapas is the order of the day. Every bar has at least a few dishes on the menu and if you are lucky you might end up in one of the wonderful restaurants where all the dishes are available in tapas style portions for people to nibble at all evening while enjoying some live guitar and the inevitable glass of wine.
Some of my favourites were the simple ones, like dates in bacon, smoked salmon with chicory and padrón peppers. So here are the recipes for those three should you feel the need to nibble.
Dates in Bacon (Datiles con jamon)
Pitted dried dates, blanched almonds, smoked streaky bacon (half as many slices as dates), cocktail sticks
Heat the oven to 180 degrees and line a baking tray with tin foil. These are sticky and using the tin foil makes life so much easier when it comes to cleaning the pan! Pop an almond in each of the dates, where the pit would normally be. Slice a piece of streaky bacon in half and wrap around the date. Secure the end with a cocktail stick. Repeat x infinity (these were my favourite…). Bake in the oven for 10-15 mins, or until the bacon is crispy.
Smoked salmon with Chicory
Smoked salmon, chicory, fish roe (caviar if you like but there are cheaper, and more sustainable, options out there), lemon juice to dress
Not a complicated one to put together really. Make sure the smoked salmon is in bite sized pieces, chop the end off the chicory (also known as endive) and lay the leaves around the plate. The leaves make little spoons, or bowls, perfect for finger food style nibbling!
Pop a curl of salmon in each leaf and top with a little roe. Squeeze the lemon over the top and devour.
These are really moreish with the added danger of every once in a while a spicey one turning up!
Padrón peppers, olive oil, really good rock salt
Add the olive oil to a really hot pan and when it is super hot add the peppers. Cook them until the skins are blistered and browning then pop them on a plate. Sprinkle liberally with the rock salt and serve hot.
For lots more recipes go here.
This meal should be served with lots of crusty bread, a bottle of crisp white wine or a fruity rioja on a sunny terrace during a lazy afternoon. Enjoy 🙂