Tapas with a twist

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ONE OF the most enjoyable things about living in Spain is the opportunity to try local dishes and delicacies, none more so than the traditional Spanish tapas.

Who doesn’t derive great pleasure from sitting on a sunny terrace, sipping a beer or aperetif, nibbling on small plates of delicious meat, fish and vegetables.

It’s one of lifes great joys.

A new generation of chefs from Spain and beyond are now taking a new look at these dishes, putting their own slant on recipes passed down through the ages and creating new and exciting versions of the originals.

Here are a few worth trying in your own kitchen:

SQUID WITH ROMESCO SAUCE
Deep-fried squid or calamari is a classic Spanish tapas dish. Served with a Romesco sauce made with ground almonds, breadcrumbs and garlic, makes a delicious change from the traditional Alioli accompaniment.

SPRING ONION & SERRANO HAM SALAD WITH SHERRY DRESSING
Salty ham, sweet roasted spring onions, fluffy potato and a sticky sherry dressing make this Spanish salad recipe a must-try.

SALMAREJO
This classic Andalucian dish will appeal to lovers of the Spanish cold soup gazpacho. Adding breadcrumbs to the classic soup’s ingredients makes it thicker and more substantial. Adding chopped boiled egg and shavings of serrano ham when serving, makes it a meal in itself.

CHEESE AND CAULIFLOWER FRITTERS WITH YOGHURT DIP
Sometimes the traditional tapas staple croquetas can be too heavy. These cauliflower fritters are great dunked generously in the herby yogurt sauce. The ultimate cheesy and creamy snack or starter. Ideal for vegetarians too.

ROCKET AND CASHEW SPREAD
Ideal for vegans by adding nutritional yeast to rocket, cashew nuts and lemon juice, before mixing lightly in a blender. The result is a chunky spread with a beautiful bright green colour. The rocket, lemon juice and nutritional yeast make it just a little bit tangy. Perfect served with crostini crackers or toasted baguette.

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