Spain is home to a delightfully diverse culinary landscape, with centuries of tradition that can vary distinctly from region to region. From fresh coastal seafood to savory sausages in the interior, a tour of Spain can introduce you to a wide range of distinct dishes and preparations. One culinary custom can be found nearly anywhere you go, however – the tapas. From Granada to Pamplona and the all the bustling plazas of Madrid, the simple, sharable, and appetizing plates are wonderfully easy to prepare, so try these tapas recipes to bring a taste of Spain to your dinner table.
Ready in a Flash
Some of the best tapas are also the quickest to prepare. Spanish cooking often allows essential flavors to shine through without a lot of dressing up, as demonstrated by the everyday olives. Store-bought olives just need to be tossed in a bowl with some lemon juice and herbs for a briny snack. You can also chop and sauté some mushrooms with garlic and olive oil for easy champinones al ajillo.
For many travelers who have visited Spain, if hospitality could be condensed into a single dish, it would be tortilla Española. Also known as the traditional Spanish omelet, this recipe begins with sweating diced onions in extra virgin olive oil, low and slow so that they soak up the oil’s flavor without turning brown. You’ll also want to cook and chop some waxy potatoes for extra body, and they all go into the mix of eggs. The trick to this dish is to flip it once to cook both sides, so keep a towel handy. Tortilla Española is fantastic served hot, but you’ll find that it’s just as satisfying the next day after chilling in the fridge.
If you’re a fan of charcuterie, you’re sure to love one of Spain’s most iconic tapas, jamón. This luxuriously thin, translucent cured ham is a staple of cafés across the country, and it pairs perfectly with hearty cheeses like manchego. Jamón is becoming increasingly easier to find in U.S. grocery stores, as is chorizo, the paprika-spiced pork sausage. While fries are not unheard-of in Spanish menus, you’re far more likely to encounter patatas bravas, small cubed potatoes in a spicy sauce or aioli.
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