The table had stacks of little plates in the middle. Beside them was a container filled with flatware. We knew something was different about this place. We just didn’t know what it was at first. One look at the extensive menu gave a clue to a new dining experience ahead. Everything that was offered came in small servings. A conversation with the waiter revealed we were about to have Tapas for the first time. This was many years ago at a restaurant we happened upon while on vacation. Since then we have enjoyed Tapas often. The one that I start with each time is citrus and herb marinated olives.
What are Tapas? The word comes from the Spanish verb “tapar” which means to cover. There is quite a history of it in Spain including how meat and bread was used to cover glasses of sherry to keep fruit flies from flying into them. Brilliant restaurant and bar owners expanded on it and started serving little plates of food to go with wine and cocktails. It was a trend that took off and is popular around the world.
Herb and Citrus Marinated Olives are hard to resist. At least they are for me. It bumps up the glorious salty goodness of mixed Greek olives with citrus brightness and herbal earthiness. Which herbs to use? The ones you like or have on hand. I used parsley, rosemary, and thyme because it is what I have growing around my house this time of year. In the summer I might switch out or add oregano, mint, chervil, and more.
Do you enjoy Tapas or want to see more? You are in luck! Sunday Supper contributors have put together a fabulous array of recipes to share. I can’t wait to see each one. Scroll down to find the list with links that will take you to them with a simple click. Special thanks to the lovely Constance of The Foodie Army Wife for hosting this event. Also take a look at Shrimp Arnean which is a great appetizer that can also be served as Tapas.
Herb and Citrus Marinated Olives
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 3 cups pitted mixed Greek olives rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped mixed fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, parsley, mint, etc.
- 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons grated lime zest
- 1 shallot finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup canola or light olive oil*
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- Pinch of ground cinnamon
- Pinch of ground cumin
Toast the fennel seeds in a dry small skillet over medium heat, shaking the skillet frequently, until the seeds begin to pop and give off their aroma. Remove from the heat and transfer seeds to a plate to cool to room temperature.
Place the olives, fennel seeds, herbs, zests, shallot, and garlic in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together wine, oil, juices, cinnamon, and cumin. Pour over the olives.
Toss well then cover and place in refrigerator to marinate 1 to 2 days before serving. Stir or toss olives occasionally while marinating.
*It is best to use an oil that will not solidify when chilled. Time stated does not include marinating time in the refrigerator.
It’s Tapas time! Check out these fantastic recipes by Sunday Supper contributors:
- Roasted Bone Marrow with Citrus Salad from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
- Stuffed Green Queen Olives with Garlic Infused Olive Oil from MarocMama
- Cheesy, Tortellini Tapas & Spicy Bacon Ranch Dip from Daily Dish Recipes
- Mushroom Chevre Crostini from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Black-Eyed Pea Cowboy Caviar from Shockingly Delicious
- Goan Beef Croquettes from Masala Herb
- Giardiniera Salad from Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Bacon Wrapped Calamari from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
- Krab filled Avocado Tapas from Hot Momma’s Kitchen Chaos
- Serrano Ham and Manchego Croquetas with Smoked Pimenton Aioli from My Other City By The Bay
- Patatas Bravas from Supper for a Steal
- Caramelized Onion & Gruyere Bites from The Foodie Army Wife
- Agave Truffles from Killer Bunnies, Inc
- Pear, Brie, and Honey Crostini from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Tomato Bread from girlichef
- Clams in Green Sauce (Almejas en Salsa Verde) from The Little Ferraro Kitchen
- Roasted Tomato-Basil Flatbread from Take A Bite Out of Boca
- Herb and Citrus Marinated Olives from Magnolia Days
- Smoky Paprika Peppers from Small Wallet, Big Appetite
- Balsamic Raspberries with Mascarpone Cream from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Gambas al Ajillo from Manu’s Menu
- Squid with Garlic Chili Olive Oil from Food Lust People Love
- Tortilla Española from The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
- Croquetas de Pollo from Cookin’ Mimi
- Low-Carb Salmon Croquettes from Yours And Mine Are Ours
- Bruschetta Topping from What Smells So Good?
- Polenta Crostini Bites with Caramelized Mushrooms: Cicchetti – A Venetian Tapas Tradition from La Bella Vita Cucina
- Herb Roasted Almonds from Curious Cuisiniere
- Artichoke Heart and Manchego Spread from The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Tortillita de Camarones from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Patatas A La Riojana (Rioja-Style Potato & Chorizo Stew) from Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Gambas al Ajillo y Clementina (Shrimp with Garlic and Clementines) from FoodieTots
- Tortillas De Papa y Atun (Tuna and Potatoes Tortilla) from Basic N Delicious
- Pocky Cake Pops from NinjaBaking.com
- Chorizo Filled Dates Wrapped in Bacon from I Run For Wine
- Manchego-Stuffed Spanish Meatballs from The Weekend Gourmet
- Roast Onions with Blue Cheese and Pine Nuts from Healthy. Delicious.
- Shrimp and Chorizo Tapas from The Texan New Yorker
- Blueberry and Lemon Yogurt Quesada from In The Kitchen With KP
- Chorizo with Spicy Sweet Potato Tapas from Soni’s Food
- Chorizo Manchego Toast Tapas from Family Foodie
- Best Wines To Pair With Tapas from ENOFYLZ Wine Blog
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