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How do you make vegan-friendly Spanish tapas?

Me and my food-loving Brooklyn friends are getting together Friday for a Spanish tapas potluck. The thing is, we're two vegivore meat eaters, one ovo-lacto vegetarian and one vegan. How do you make a tapas that's vegan-friendly? Cuz when I think Spanish, I keep thinking pig. Like bacon wrapped around dates. I dunno, maybe almond-stuffed dates? Suggestions, please.

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  1. Olives. Roasted bell peppers on toasted bread. Small toasts rubbed with cut clove of garlic, with fresh tomato flesh smushed into it. Roasted cauliflower and garlic pureed with good Spanish olive oil and sherry vinegar -- makes a great dip or spread.

    1 Reply
    1. re: pikawicca

      Thanks, that roasted cauliflower spread sounds yummy. I also found a recipe for red onion and orange salad with almonds, raisins and black olives.

    2. Pretty much any vegan appetizer will take on the taste of Spain with the addition of pimenton (paprika), sherry vinegar or saffron. One of the best tapas I ever had in Madrid was white asparagus drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with pimenton.

      1. Little plates of this spinach chick pea stew from Food and Wine would work. It's really good.


        1. There are some delicious mushroom based tapas recipes, too. Roasted and then simmered in a spicy, paprika laced tomato sauce, to serve with toast. I've also seen them stuffed with chorizo, but there is soy chorizo, which heck, I can't say I would recommend, but I do know it's made. I would go with the tomato sauce.

          Be sure to roast and peel some red peppers, or buy jarred piquillos. You can stuff them with tuna for the meat eaters, if you like, and serve them with olive oil and maybe some chopped shallot for the vegetarian and vegan. Chickpea salad, maybe with some marinated, grilled eggplant on the side, would be good. Potatoes with garlic mayonnaise. Salted, fried almonds and marinated olives to go with wine and/or drinks.

          1. Romesco sauce with roasted vegetables
            Fried eggplant drizzled with orange blossom honey
            Pan roasted Padron peppers
            Sauteed spinach and chickpeas with a dusting of smoked paprika
            Croquetas de patatas
            A lot of Spanish Lenten recipes will also be vegetarian-friendly

              1. I agree with everything else, but want to throw out there that if you're missing your stuffed dates, just stuff them with a nut - perhaps a smokey one.

                1 Reply
                1. re: katecm

                  that's a great idea ... or stuff the dates with onions braised in sherry ...

                2. Just racked my brains for another great one. Pan Con Tomate (which is harder to make right than you think). Basically bread rubbed with garlic and tomatos topped with olive oil. The Penelope Casas cookbook ("Delicioso") contains a recipe and is probably the best place to find more vegan dishes that I cannot htink of. It is organized by region and contains a good number of regional dishes unheard of in the U.S..

                  Olive tapenade is another good one (though it might have anchovies). It is hard to make with the crummy olives that we get here (too salty) and I have yet to try a decent store brand....I never tried the one they sell at Fairway (the Pelham store) which is probably the only one that has a chance of being decent..

                  It's tough because IMHO the best tapas contain either cheese, pork, eggs or fish (or all four). Almost all vegetable dishes contain chorizo or eggs.

                  1. I am probably too late, but this is one of my favourite Spanish tapas (and vegan, to boot):

                    Spanish Chickpea Salad with Capers and Roasted Red Peppers