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Jul 13, 2010 07:46 PM

Spanish tapas - can you help me identify these ingredients?

Hi all,

Some friends of mine were just married in Spain and we are throwing them a post-wedding party back at home. I'd love to recreate some of the dishes from the trip but am having trouble identifying some of the ingredients. Any ideas?

Here is what I think they could be:

Pic 1) The purple stuff looks like olive tapenade maybe, or eggplant (I didn't taste it so have no idea what it could be) with tomatoes, asparagus and I can't tell what the creamy white stuff is.

Pic 2) The second one looks like anchovy or sardine wrapped around pickled peppers on half a cherry tomato topped with some kind of soft white cheese?

Pic 3) The last one looks like smoked fish with some kind of herb.

Any ideas would be much appreciated!

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  1. 1.) The purple stuff maybe Purple Artichoke puree (primarily found in Italy and France)

    2,) The white cheese is likely Manchego, given the presence of the Jamon on Top. I would guess it is jamon serrano since there it is wrapped around a serrano pepper, i.e. chef with a sense of play

    3.) I would bet the fish is a sardine, perhaps pickled since, there seems to be little other seasoning

    1. The second picture appears to be a montadito de atun (tuna) with cheese topped with a guindilla wrapped in an anchovy. Because Spain's foods, especially cheeses, are very regional, it would be helpful to know where the pictures were taken. It might help us narrow in on the type of cheese. The third looks like it might be a montaditio de boquerones (white anchovies-like boquerones aliƱadas or en vinagre).

      1. Those tapas look exactly like the ones they serve at the Sagardi tapas chain not too far from my house. It's been a while since we've been there, but I'll give it a go. The first one has an anchovy at the back and a slice of roasted green pepper at front the font with tomato. The purple stuff is a puree with either purple potatoes or perhaps a puree mixed with pickled red onion?

        BigSal is right about 2 & 3...the cheese on 2 is probably just a typical spanish goat-sheep-cow blend. Given the texture, doesn't look to be curado (aged) and I'd guess that these tapas chains are not known for using regional ingredients. And 3 appears to have a salsa rosa (pink sauce which is just a mix of ketchup & mayo) on top of the boquerones.

        If you need more visual inspiration, just google "tapas sagardi flickr" and you'll find heaps. Here's one now:

        Have fun!

        4 Replies
        1. re: msmarabini

          A friend of mine showed me pictures from this same place, Sagardi, with that middle pintxo featured. Small (foodie) world.
          Both the purple pate in picture one and contents hiding below grated cheese in picture two are crab meat. There's anchovy in both, as well- underneath the tomato in the first, wrapping the pepper in the second.
          Your best bet might be to email the restaurant:

          If you're willing to not replicate exactly those particular dishes, there are some decent cookbooks dedicates to pintxos.

          1. re: gwendolynmarie

            I'm so inspired by these fabulous photos, I want to pull out Penelope Casas "Tapas" and have myself a little tapas party. But, what is a pintxos?

            Hrhboo, what a wonderful friend you are. I'll bet your friends would be thrilled. Plus, maybe on their first or fifth anniversary or something you can gift them a copy of the recipes so they can re-create their wedding feast whenever they want.

            EDIT: wikipedia to the rescue


            1. re: The Dairy Queen

              Thank you, they're great friends and well worth it. Plus it gives me an excuse to experiment with different flavors. Giving them a copy of the recipes is a wonderful idea.

            2. re: gwendolynmarie

              It is totally Sagardi! What a funny coincidence. Thanks for the info.

              I wonder what makes the crab purple?

          2. Hey there,
            I wonder if the middle one isn't that mayo and egg mixture that's often used in Basque Tapas maybe with something else too? Not sure.

            The last one is almost certainly anchovy but you could make great tapas with sardines or anchovies and I'm sure they'd be great!

            Enjoy and good luck!

            1 Reply
            1. re: JeremyEG

              I thought the same thing with the second tapa. Had some of these in San Sebastian..a "plataforma". Made usually with grated egg/mayo mix (but looks more like cheese) and topped with the pickled piparra pepper wrapped with a salt cured anchovy. The base is a tuna mix. Third tapa looks exactly like a montadito of anchovy en vinagre.

            2. The original comment has been removed