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Appetizers & Tapas

When you drop by a café in Spain before dinner, you find yourself in the midst of garrulous Spaniards relishing tapas -- a variety of small savory treats, served hot or cold. Tapas are the perfect introduction to the joy of Spanish cuisine. Buen Provecho!

104 recipes in this category

1.  Artichoke and Asparagus in a Green Garlic Sauce (Alcachofas y Espárragos en Salsa Verde)
Pistachios, lemon and spices season the sauce for artichoke hearts and asparagus.

2.  Artichoke Flower Stuffed with Ibérico Ham in Clam Sauce (Corazón de Alcachofa Relleno de Jamón Ibérico y Salsa de Almejas)
Whole artichokes are cooked so they open, then stuffed with the ham, clams, and sauce.

3.  Artichokes with Clams (Alcachofas con Almejas)
Clams, white wine, and garlic combine with artichoke hearts in this tapa you can make in your cazuela or frying pan.

4.  Asparagus with Orange and Lemon Sauce (Espárragos con Salsa de Naranja y Limón)
Citrus flavors give sparkle and fruitiness to white or green aspargus spears.

6.  Asturian Bean Stew II (Fabada Asturiana)
A famous stew from Asturia, this is an alternate version of Spanish fabada.

7.  Avocado and Prawn Cocktail (Cóctel de Gambas y Aguacate)
Spiced prawns and avocado puree formed the alternate layers of this chilled appetizer or tapa.

8.  Avocados with Carpaccio of Cecina (Aguacates con Carpaccio de Cecina)
Avocado shells are stuffed with cecina (or jamon serrano) and the avocado fruit.

9.  Baked Leeks with Ibérico Ham Wafers (Puerros Asados en Obleas de Jamón Ibérico)
Baked leeks in a seasoned bechamel sauce, topped with shaved wafers of Iberico or serrano ham.

10.  Baked Potatoes with Mild Alioli (Patatas al Horno con Alioli Suave)
Thin-cut potato slices baked with herbs and served with two alioli sauces.

11.  Basque Crab Casserole (Txangurro)
A delicious crab dish, baked in the shell, traditionally made with spider crab in the Basque region.

12.  Bread, Baby Broad Beans, Petits Pois and Ham (Pan, Habas Baby, Guisantes y Jamón)
Earthy Spanish ingredients in a 21st century presentation.

13.  Broad Bean Omelette (Tortilla de Habas)
An omelette fortified and flavored with broad beans, onions and spice.

14.  Broad Beans Catalan-Style (Habas a la Catalana)
Fresh broad beans are cooked with pork and butifarra sausage, vegtables and herbs in this appetizer (or tapa) from Catalan.

15.  Broccoli, Cauliflower and Romanesco Cauliflower with Warm Ham Vinaigrette (Brécol, Coliflor y Romanesco con Vinagreta Templada de Jamón)
Three tasty members of the broccoli family are dressed in vinagraitte and diced serrano ham for this appetizer or tapa.

16.  Canapés of Quesuco Cheese with Caramelized Onion (Canapes de Queso Quesuco y Cebollas Caramelizadas)
Toast wedges are topped with cheese and caramelized onions, then browned, for this tasty tapa or appetizer.

17.  Cardoons in White Almond Sauce (Cardo con Salsa de Almendra)
Cardoons (a stalky vegetable with a flavor between artichoke and celery) are paired with almonds in this traditional Christmas tapa.

18.  Carpaccio of Sirloin with Olive Oil, Olives and Flakes of Manchego Cheese (Carpaccio de Solomillo con Aceite de Oliva, Aceitunas y Copos de Queso Manchego)
Ultrathin slices of beef are dressed with oil, Manchego cheese, and olives in this simple, elegant tapa.

19.  Catalan Toast with Tomato and Jamón (Pa amb Tomaquet (Pan Con Tomate))
A simple Catalan dish to enjoy on its own or topped with jamón, anchovies, cheese or sausage.

20.  Cauliflower al Ajoarriero (Coliflor al Ajoarriero)
A vegetable dish prepared in the distinctive Ajoarriero manner, great with a full red wine.

21.  Char-grilled Artichokes (Alcachofas a la Parrilla)
Grilled, marinated seasoned fresh artichokes as an appetizer or tapa.

22.  Char-grilled Calçots (Calçots a la Parrilla)
Spring onion grilled over hot coals and served with a local romesco sauce called salbitxada.

23.  Cheese Stuffed Caperberries (Queso Relleno de Alcaparrones)
A very easy way to enjoy delicious caperberries from Spain.

24.  Cheese-filled Loaf (Pan al Queso)
A simple appetizer with three ingredients -- bread, cheese and nuts.

25.  Cherry Tomatoes in Torta del Casar Cheese Sauce (Tomates Cherry en Salsa de Torta del casar)
Cherry tomatoes are topped with an herbed cheese sauce based on Torta del Casar or Serena cheese.

26.  Chickpea Flour Fritter of Guadalquivir Shrimp and Onion (Tortillita de Camarones)
Seasoned shrimp and onion flavor these chickpea fritters for a flavorful appetizer or tapa.

27.  Chickpeas and Fresh Greens (Garbanzos con Espinacas)
An appetizer made from fresh spinach, garlic, spices, and chickpeas.

28.  Chorizo Simmered in Cider (Chorizo en Sidra)
A classic Asturian dish, the balance of the meaty chorizo and tangy cider is a wonderful combination!

29.  Clams, Fishermen's Style (Almejas a la Marinera)
A seafood tapa that can be made with clams or mussels, sauteed in wine, with a bit of spice.

31.  Couscous with Caramelized Quesuco Cheese (Couscous con Queso Quesuco Caramelizado)
Individual couscous molds of are topped with caramelized cheese and served with a warm vinaigrette.

32.  Cream of Avocado with Shavings of Foie Gras (Crema de Aguacate con Láminas de Foie Gras)
A seasoned avocado cream sprinkled with sweet sherry and flakes of foie gras.

34.  Croquetas de Jamón Serrano (Croquetas de Jamón Serrano)
Often served as tapas, croquetas are a favorite throughout Spain.

35.  Cuttlefish, Almonds, Young Green Beans and Cocoa Sauce (Sepia al Punto con Almendras Tiernas y Cacao)
Cuttlefish or squid gets sophisticated flavors of cocoa and almond in an elegant presentation with green beans and multiple sauces.

36.  Dublin Bay Prawns with Canary Mojo (Cigalas con Mojo Canario)
Spanish appetizer of grilled prawns with a mojo verde sauce from the Canary Islands.

37.  Duck (Foie de Pato al Pedro Ximenez)
A duck liver pate flavored with a Pedro Ximénez reduction and served over toast.

38.  Egg 147 with Mashed Banana, Passion Fruit and Caviar (Huevo 147 con Puré de Plátano, Fruta de la Pasión y Caviar)
Quail eggs presented with banana puree, fresh passion fruit and caviar.

39.  El Bierzo Empanada (Empanada Berziana)
An empanada filled with botillo sausage, egg, potatoes, and vegetables.

40.  Fine Clams with Coriander, Lemon, Garlic Confit and Japanese Pearls (Almejas con Cilantro, Limón, ajo Confitado y Perlas Japonesas)
Delicate clams cooked with coriander, lemon, garlic and semolina pearls, presented in their shells.

41.  Fresh Snails, Served with a Spicy, Piquant Sauce (Cabrillas y Caracoles)
Vegtables, garlic, pimenton, and white wine are some of the ingredients of the sauce for these snails.

43.  Fried Tope Shark in Oregano Marinade (Cazón en Adobo)
Herb-marinated shark (or swordfish) is coated in semolina and then browned.

44.  Gazpacho with Olives and Lobster (Gazpacho con Aceitunas y Bogavante)
This gazpacho version is served with sliced lobster, fresh chives, and fine Spanish olives.

45.  Goose Barnacles Au Gratin with Cava Zabaglione (Gratinado de Percebes con Sabayón al Cava)
Appetizer of fresh goose barnacles and zabaglione, with a touch of Spanish cava sparkling wine.

46.  Green Leaves with Grilled Goat Cheese (Hojas Verdes con Queso de Cabra Gratinado)
A simple dish of grilled goat cheese and baby greens, dressed in a honey vinegar vinaigrette.

47.  Grilled Chorizo Kebabs with Cherries and Figs (Pinchitos de Chorizo a la Parilla con Cerezas e Higos)
Spanish chorizo sausage grilled with fruit and onions combines smoky and sweet flavors.

49.  Grilled Spring Vegetables (Verdura de Primavera Asadas)
A simple treatment of spring vegetables that is easy to grill and complements any main course.

50.  Hake Filled with Piquillo Peppers and Served with Scallion Coulis (Merluza Rellena con Pimientos del Piquillo y Coulis de Cebolleta)
Hake fillet rolled with a piquillo pepper sauce, Arbequina olive oil and blanched scallion coulis.

51.  Ibores Ramekin with Prawn Sauce (Ramequín de Queso Ibores y Salsa de Gambas)
Ibores cheese custard topped with prawns and a tomato sherry cream sauce.

52.  Jamón Serrano with Melon (Jamón Serrano con Melón)
An elegant appetizer or party dish.

53.  Jumbo Shrimp with Dry Sherry (Langostinos al Fino)
Jumbo shrimp appetizer in a sherry tomato cream sauce.

54.  La Deu Homestyle Potatoes (Patatas Artesanas de la Deu)
Spiced minced meats are stuffed between potato slices in this Spanish farmhouse restaurant dish.

55.  Lamb and Potato Confit (Confit de Cordero con Patatas)
A traditional Tierra de Campos preparation of baby lamb to give a preserved meat that would last for more than one meal.

56.  Lemon-flavored Potato Chips (Patatas Fritas con Sabor a Limón)
Homemade potato chips with the irresistible scent and flavor of lemon salt, an easy appetizer or snack that

57.  Loin of Beef with Smoked Idiazábal Cheese (Lomo de Ternera con Queso Idiazabal Ahumado)
Loin of beef cooked with the salt crust method, then served with raisin vodka cheese sauce with browned apples and salad greens.

58.  Marinated Fresh Anchovies (Boquerones en Vinagre)
A popular tapas in Spain of marinated fresh anchovies dressed with oil, garlic, and parsley.

59.  Marinated Mackerel (Caballa en Escabeche)
A classic Spanish escabeche that will work with nearly any fish, lightly browned then marinated in garlic, oil, vinegar, wine, pimentón, and other herbs and spices.

61.  Mussels Vinaigrette (Mejillones a la Vinagreta)
Steamed mussels are dressed with a flavorful vinaigrette in this colorful tapa.

62.  Octopus and Potatoes (Pulpo con Cachelos)
Tender octopus, onions and spices, with potatoes to soak up the flavors.

63.  Piquillo Peppers Stuffed with Tetilla Cheese (Pimientos del Piquillo con Queso Tetilla)
Sautéed piquillo peppers filled with Tetilla - a splash of color and warmth, fresh from the pan!

64.  Piquillo Peppers Stuffed with White Fish (Pimientos del Piquillo Rellenos de Pescado Blanco)
A modern recipe for this stuffed piquillo pepper tapa in which the peppers are placed in the sauce without coating or frying.

65.  Potato cake (Gachas-Migas)
Layers of sliced potatoes bound with custard form a appetizer cake.

66.  Prawns in a Spicy Sauce (Gambas en Salsa Picante)
A simple dish that makes a good start to an informal meal.

67.  Red Cabbage with Apples, Pine Nuts and Raisins (Lombarda con Manzanas, Pasas y Piñones)
The stuffing for these red cabbage leaves balances sweet and tart flavors with garlic and pine nuts.

68.  Rice with a Crust (Arroz con Costra)
A curious baked rice with an egg crust in a recipe that dates to the 14th century.

69.  Rice-Stuffed Peppers (Pimientos Rellenos)
The rice stuffing cooks in the sweet juices of tomato and pepper.

70.  Rioja Potatoes (Patatas a la Riojana)
A simple appetizer (or tapa) from Rioja, made with potatoes, chorizo, peppers, and onion.

71.  Rioja Vegetable Medley (Menestras de Verduras a la Riojana)
Seasonal vegetables are sauteed with a bit of serrano ham, and served with a gold sauce.

73.  Romesco in a Tomato Capsule (Romesco en Cápsula de Tomate)
A romesco sauce served within a tomato, excellent with fish, meat or vegetables.

74.  Ronda Cheese Ring with Eggplant and Stewed Tomato (Anillo de Queso de Ronda con Berenjena y Tomate Guisado)
A modern appetizer of eggplant, tomato, and cheese layers baked in a ring.

75.  Salamanca-Style Broad Beans (Habas a la Salamantina)
These broad beans are served with a spiced mixture of chorizo and ham.

76.  Sangría (Sangría)
A classic refreshing recipe from Andalucia!

77.  Santiago Mussels (Mejillones de Santiago)
An easy and delicious appetizer of mussels served in their shells.

78.  Scallops au Gratin, Galician Style (Vieiras Gratinadas a la Gallega)
Spicy breadcrumb topped scallops are grilled in their shells in this seafood tapa.

79.  Scallops Baked in Their Shells (Vieiras en su Concha)
Breaded oven-baked scallops cooked in their shells with lemon and olive oil.

80.  Scrambled Eggs with Prawns, Garlic Shoots, and Triguero Asparagus with Piquillo Peppers (Revuelto de Gambas, Ajetes, Trigueros y Piquillo)
The intense aroma and flavor of wild asparagus and piquillo peppers combine with prawns and scrambled eggs.

81.  Shepherds Potatoes (Patatas Aborregás)
A hearty old fashioned side dish for beef or lamb.

82.  Shrimp in Garlic Sauce (Gambas al Ajillo)
Garlic and brandy flavor the shrimp in this tapa you can make on your stovetop.

83.  Shrimp in Trenchcoats (Gambas en Gabardinas)
Jumbo shrimp in a simple batter, then fried till golden brown.

84.  Shrimp with Garlic (Gambas al Ajillo)
One of the most famous Spanish tapas, to serve in individual earthenware dishes with the oil sizzling hot.

85.  Sizzled Shrimp (Gambas al Ajillo)
A classic garlic shrimp tapa usually made in individual cazuelas.

86.  Sobrasada and Tetilla Cheese Toasts (Sobrasada y Queso de Tetilla Tostadas)
Crisp toast rounds baked with savory Sobrasada and melted Tetilla make for a scrumptious appetizer.

87.  Spinach Andalusian Style (Espinacas a la Andaluza)
A spinach and chickpea appetizer cooked with cumin and paprika and served in cazuelas with a garnish of chopped egg and fried bread.

88.  Squid in Black Sauce (Calamares en su Tinta)
Medium squid or tiny chipirones are sauteed then baked in a wine sauce.

89.  Steamed Salmon with Sofrito and Lemon Confit (Salmón al Vapor con Sofrito y Limón Confitado)
Salmon fillets topped with lemon confit and homemade sofrito sauce.

90.  Sticks of Ham with Honey (Palitos de Jamón con Miel)
Iberico (or serrano) ham pairs with orange blossom honey for a perfectly simple tapa.

91.  Stuffed Mussels (Mejillones Rellenos [Tigres])
Golden brown, breadcrumb-topped stuffed mussels in their shells.

93.  Toasted Bread with Mushrooms and Alioli (Tostada de Setas y Alioli)
Mushrooms cooked in a bit of sherry, and lightly broiled on aioli topped bread.

94.  Tomato Aspic with Jamón Serrano (Aspic de Tomate con Jamón Serrano)
A tomato aspic with a distinctly Spanish flavor.

95.  Trichat Fritters (Trinxat de la Cerdanya)
These earthy fritters combine cabbage and potato with the flavors of garlic and pork.

96.  Trout and Rabbit Escabeche (Trucha y Conejo en Escabeche)
A plate of mixed escabeches (pickled fish, poultry, game, or meat) to prepare ahead.

97.  Valdeón or Cabrales Cheese Dip (Salsa de queso de Valdeón o Cabrales)
A quick blue cheese dip made in the blender from Spanish Valdeón or Cabrales cheese.

98.  Vegetable Coca (Coca de Verduras)
Tomatoes, greens and herbs bake on a homemade dough round, somewhat like a pizza.

99.  Vegetable Soup with Mahón Cheese (Sopa de Verduras con Queso Mahon)
A simple vegetable soup fortified and enriched with grated Mahón or ripe Manchego cheese.

100.  Vegetable Truffle Purée (Trufa Purée)
A cooked vegetable puree topped with truffle slices and croutons.

101.  Ventresca Tuna & Jamón Serrano on Toast with Braised Onions (Tosta de Ventresca de Atún y Jamón Serrano con Cebollas Estofadas)
A modern tapa recipe combining braised onion with flavorsome ham and the strong personality of ventresca tuna.

102.  Watermelon Fruit Salad (Ensalada de Sandia)
An unusual summer fruit salad of watermelon, lychee, and melon or mango soaked in white wine and Maraschino liqueur.

103.  White Haricot Beans with Hare and Oyster Mushrooms (Alubias Blancas con Liebre y Champiñón Ostra)
A hare and bean stew from the countryside, enlivened by wild (or domesticated) mushrooms.

104.  Zucchini with Onions (Zarangollo)
A simple Spanish treatment of zucchinis, slowly cooked with sliced onions, garlic and spices.

Classic Paella
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