One of the great things about serving tapas is that it's just good, simple food. Score a cheap rioja and a Spanish cheese, slice a sausage, make a nice salad and open a bunch of jars. In Spain, they actually put tasty things in jars.
I have a favorite Spanish salad recipe that's made up of bacalao, oranges, tomatoes and green olives. This might sound strange if you're not accustomed to sweet and savory salads, but this kind of flavor combination is very ordinary in the Mediterranean.
Baguette, quince paste and fig cake in the foreground, tuna, remojón, and assorted olives in the back.
It's colorful, easy to put together and very nice as part of a tapas party spread.
Remojón (Spanish Cod & Orange Salad) (Makes 4-6 appetizer servings)
3/4 cup (about a 5"x4" piece) of dried salt cod
12 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1 small red onion
10 Spanish olives, pitted and halved (optional)
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper (or chili flakes)
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1. Toast the fish over a flame or under a broiler until lightly browned.
2. Soak the the toasted cod in a bowl of cool water while you segment the oranges. Cut each orange segment in half.
3. Cut the red onion in half and cut each half into thin slices. Soak slices in cold water if you want to take out some of the bite.
3. Mix the drained tomatoes, onion slices, olives (if using) and the halved orange segments.
4. Drain the soaking fish and remove any skin or bones. Shred or chop the fish and add to the salad.
5. Blend the Aleppo pepper (or chili flakes) into the vinegar before whisking in the oil. Pour this dressing over the salad and toss to blend.
This salad holds up well (and probably even improves) as it sits at room temperature while you zip around the house picking up stray items in preparation for guests.
Easy-Peasy Tapas for 4-6
1/2 lb block of Manchego cheese, sliced
and/or a half-pound of Garrotxa cheese, sliced
1/2 lb chunk of membrillo (quince paste)
and/or fig paste
1 jar of oil-preserved tuna
and/or Spanish Cod & Orange Salad (see recipe, above)
1/4 lb thin-sliced serrano ham
and/or 1/4 lb salchichon slices
1-2 types of salt-cured or Spanish green olives
and/or roasted peppers and/or marinated tomatoes
1 baguette, thinly sliced
and/or some good lookin' crackers