Growing up “l’apéro” was a big part of our family gatherings. Finger foods and nuts were passed around, drinks and cocktails were served, all while my mother and aunts finished preparing dinner in the kitchen. It was my favourite part of our get-together, and still is. Everybody gathered around the kitchen to report on a few months worth of events and I would hop from one group to another, catching up with all while stuffing my face with the delicious munchies my family prepared.
I’ve never been very good at controlling my urges, particularly when it comes to snacking on savoury bits and pieces. Hors-d’oeuvre are like candy to me. If some are passed around, I get this “kid in a candy shop” impulses: I need to try them all. And it’s always at the expense of my dinner plate, which will stay on the table, barely touched.
Step 1 and 3 : Slice and toast the bread. Lightly rub a garlic clove over the cut surface and drizzle with oil.
The french have “l’apéro” and the Italians the “antipasti”, but only the Spaniards have designed their finger foods to be eaten as a full meal. And I love it!
For a nibble addict like me, Tapas feels like such a treat. Which kid, or grown-up, wouldn’t dream of eating candy for dinner? That’s what it feels like for me, and it’s so cheeky.
Step 2 : Grate the tomato over the largest holes of a box grater, discarding skin.
So, what better way to use your leftovers than turning them into an amazing feast. Take a some salty olives, a bit of strong cheese, few sliced cured meat, even a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and give it a Spanish twist by serving them with a lip-licking Pan con tomate. This classic tapas dish takes seconds to prepare and will bring all items of your meal together.
Add a big glass of red wine and a good TV series for an unwinding evening.
- 1 or 2 slices of good crusty bread, like ciabatta
- 1 Garlic clove
- Extra virgin Olive oil
- 1 ripe and juicy Tomato
- Coarse Sea salt
- Slice the bread and toast in a toaster or over.
- In the meantime, grate the tomato over the largest holes of a box grater, discarding skin. Keep the puree aside.
- Lightly rub a garlic clove over the cut surface of the bread and drizzle with oil.
- Spoon the grated tomato onto the toasts and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
- Add a few extra drops of olive oil to finish it off.