In Spain the word “tapa” is known as a bar snack or appetizer and the word itself translates as “cover”, said to have originated from Andalusia in beautiful southern Spain. Initially, small pieces of food (olives, slices of bread etc) were placed on top to cover drinks and keep bugs at bay. Subsequently, many bars began offering complementary food with each drink in the hope of increasing sales.
Although, the true origins of this word are not totally clear, “tapas” are greatly cherished in Spain and Spanish bars and restaurants around the world. Today I bring you Top 5 Vegetarian, Spanish Tapas Recipes You’ll Love!
The first are fried potatoes, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. These are served with a kind of homemade spicy tomato sauce, hence the name.
Aioli are a bit on the strong side, and are made with a different sauce made with a good glaze of garlic, egg, oil, and a little lemon juice. If you are vegan, use a soy substitute instead of egg.
2. Pan Tumaca (Tumaca Bread)
This is a simple and delicious tapa. It is simply a slice of bread (you can use different types of bread for this), with a little olive oil and garlic. It has its origins in the Catalonian region of north-eastern Spain.
3. Vegan ‘Russian’ Salad (Spanish Style)
This is a favourite meal throughout Europe and is also found in many Slavic countries. It’s made of potatoes, eggs, carrots, peas, olives and mayonnaise.
4. Vegetarian Pie
Traditionally called “Galician pie”, it’s a baked pie filled with tuna, peppers, onion and tomato. But you can also make this with other alternatives for vegans (switch the tuna for your preferred soy ingredient) and it’ll be just as delicious.
You can of course, use stuffed peppers, tomato, onion, carrot and mushrooms. Why not fill this pie with all the veggies you like?
5. Banderillas (Pickled Vegetable Skewer)
These are called ‘Gildas’ and it is said that it was born in San Sebastián, in the North of Spain. It is generally a skewer composed of anchovies, peppers and pitted green olives and can be served alone or on a piece of bread. If it is served on a piece of bread, it is called a ‘pincho’ instead of a tapa.
These can also be vegan and made with piparras (green chillies in vinegar), dried tomatoes and chives. Likewise, if you are vegetarian, you can include a piece of hard-boiled egg or a hunk of fresh cheese.
Finally, I would like to say that we Spaniards love and adore and tapas because it’s a wonderful way to bring people together and chat over the day’s events. I hope that you will start to enjoy these recipe ideas amongst your family and friends too! What are your favourite tapas? Let us know in the comments below and join in the conversation on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!
Going to Spain? Travel there gastronomically with Maria Sanchez’s Spanish food articles before you get there!