I wish I was back in Spain sipping Rioja and eating tapas! Tapas means “small plates” and there are all sorts of varieties. One that I tried while I was there inspired me to create the Spanish Style Tomato and Olive Salad featured at the bottom of this post.
Eating in Spain
The Spanish really know how to live and I adored all the tempting bites you can pop in your mouth at the local tavernas. I had to get used to the fact that restaurants didn’t open for dinner until nine and didn’t fill up until ten. Afterward, the locals party all night until dawn. As we watched people walking in the streets, I was amazed to see how slender they all were. I guess that dispels the myth about eating after six. I’m sure all that walking has a lot to do with it too.
One Monday afternoon my kids and I went to El Retiro Park in Madrid, next to the Prado Museum. There’s a magnificent lake there where you can rent boats and lazzzz away the afternoon. A crowd of people was sitting in a cafe next to the lake eating and drinking wine. I don’t know how they made it back to work. I’d be ready for a nap after that. They don’t woof down their food like we do in the U.S. Instead, they take their time. It’s a wonderful way to live and enjoy life.
As you can see in the picture above, my son was having a rock star moment with his long flowing hair. He’s now a Tech Sergeant in the Air Force and sports a crew cut.
Enjoy my Spanish style tomato and olive salad. Its dressing is made with sherry and is garnished with Spanish olives!
- 2 Tbsp Spanish Sherry can substitute red wine vinegar
- 5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil Try a Spanish Brand
- 1 Tbsp capers pickled in brine
- 1 clove garlic finely chopped
- 1 tsp paprika
- 4 medium tomatoes ripe, diced
- 12 whole Spanish Olives stuffed with pimento, anchovy or garlic
- ½ cucumber peeled and diced. With Persian or hot house you can leave the skin on
- 2 shallots finely chopped
- mixed lettuce or chicory
- Whisk together the sherry, olive oil, garlic and paprika in a small bowl. Season with a little salt and pepper and set aside
- In a large bowl place the tomatoes, cucumber, shallots, and capers.
- Pour the dressing over and toss lightly
- Line individual bowls with the lettuce or chicory leaves. Spoon a serving size into the center of each bowl and serve.