Article for our client’s Spanish food magazine
Tapas, Spain’s most authentic snack food, makes for very versatile eating. Fortunately, this means that tapas, as a major part of Spanish cuisine, is very vegetarian friendly. So, cooking up a variety of warm, hearty, veggie tapas dishes – for all your friends to share – has never been easier.
Without further ado let’s take a look at some of our favourites…
Simple, yet effective, salty, yet ever so moreish – olives have an essential place on any tapas board. We recommend fresh, plump, Manzanilla olives, dressed in olive oil, lemon juice and oregano. Enjoy alone or mix in with some fresh greens to add extra bite.
Slices of aubergine deep fried until golden and crisp. This dish is best served drizzled with honey and topped with crushed almonds – the mixture of savoury and sweet creates a very interesting eating experience. Alternatively, topping gazpacho (chilled vegetable soup) with these crispy creations provides an excellent alternative to your more typical crouton.
Croquetas, or croquets, are a great way to combine a lot great ingredients together without much hassle. Mushroom, spinach and pine nut is a sure fire combination. The addition of cheese – we recommend Valdeón native to León – to these fried bundles of joy makes them a little more gooey, while really enhancing the dish.
Espinacas con Garbanzos
That’s spinach and chickpeas to you and me – is another delightful vegetarian tapas dish. Originating from Seville this winter warmer also features plump tomatoes, salted almonds, crusty ciabatta, cumin, cayenne and lots of Spanish olive oil – all whizzed together before the addition of the chickpeas and wilted spinach.
No tapas selection would be complete without this staple. Drizzle a pan with olive oil, fry tomato, garlic and onion with an array of spices while crisping up the potatoes in another pan with yet more silky Spanish olive oil.
Typically this dish features rich, spicy, Spanish sausage but making it without is just as good. However, if you are feeling adventuress, including some of the better quality vegetarian sausages on the market could make for a welcome addition to this dish.
No meat does not mean no flavour
Our selection of vegetarian tapas dishes just go to show how bountiful your options are when hosting for your friends. The reality is that these dishes simply do not need meat as they stand out so well on their own. Even the most die-hard carnivores will struggle to deny the full flavours of these Spanish themed delights.
If you’ve tried any of our suggestions, or have your own, then please leave a comment in the section below!