Tag Archives: anchovies

Pincho party

Pincho or pinxto is a broad term signifying almost any little morsel of finger food. Here are a handful of tasty tidbits ideal for parties. Each of the following recipes makes a generous plateful of pinchos. 

Pincho de escalivadapiquillos
1 large eggplant
3 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely minced
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
Coarse sea salt
1 small baquette, toasted
1 jar piquillo peppers, sliced
1 small jar Spanish anchovies
1 tbsp capers

1. Preheat oven to 450F. Roast eggplant for 20-30 minute until tender. Remove skin and slice in thin sliced. Dress with olvie oil, garlic, cilantro, and lemon juice. Season with salt. Top each toast with a little of this misture and a few slices of piquillo. Lay one anchovy nad a few capers over each.

Here’s another simple crowd pleaser!

Pincho de Piquillo & Anchovy

1 small baguette, sliced and toasted
1 jar whole piquillo peppers
1 small jar Spanish anchovies
1 jar romesco

Spread each slice of toast with a little aioli and top with one piquillo and one anchovy.

Banderillas are commonly served in Spain; a complete tapa speared on a toothpick or skewer, they make fun and festive finger food.  Here are two versions:

  • Skewer of two piparras (also known as guindillas), and two boquerones (white Spanish anchovies) each wrapped around a green olive. Drizzle with olive oil.
  • Skewer of two piparras and two Spanish anchovies each wrapped around a green olive. Drizzle with olive oil.

Lemony-pea pincho with Serrano crujientes

Flecked with preserved lemon and rich with fresh herbs, this tasty little morsel is a celebration of spring. Top with crujientes—bits of crispy fried jamón Serrano—for  the carnivorously inclined. Delicioso!

2 c peas, fresh or frozen
1 garlic clove, quartered
¼ c flat leaf parsley, leaves only
3 tbsp olive oil
½ cup water
2 tbsp chives, finely chopped
1 tbsp preserved lemon, skin only, finely minced
¼ tsp Aleppo pepper
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt & pepper
¼ lb jamón Serrano, thinly sliced
1 small baguette, sliced and toasted

1. Place the peas, garlic, parsley, 1 tablespoon olive oil and water in a pot and bring to the boil. Cook until pas are tender 3-5 minutes.
2. Drain pea mixture and place in a food processor; pulse until a rough paste forms. Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in chives, preserved lemon, Aleppo pepper, lemon juice, and remaining olive oil.  Season to taste with salt and pepper but go easy on the salt  (the Serrano with provide quite a salty kick).
3. Over a medium heat, fry the Serrano until crispy. Transfer to a towel to cool.
4. Spread some pea mash on each toast and top with a few crumbled bits of Serrano.

Aceituna & tuna spread
Aceituna is Spanish for olive. Olivada is a simple puree of olives and olive oil. Serve this
spread as a montadito on a slice of fried bread. Makes 16.

7 oz can tuna packed in olive oil
1 tbsp minced onion
4 tsp mayonnaise
2 piquillo peppers
¼ c olivada (store-bought or homemade, recipe below)
1 tsp capers
16 slices bread fried in olive oil
1 egg, hard boiled
2 tbsp finely minced parsley

1. If not using a store bought version, make the olivada.
2. Drain the tuna and place in a mortar. Using a pestle, work in the onion, mayo, piquillo peppers, olivada, and salt. Otherwise, put above ingredients into a food processor and pulse until well blended.
3. Coat the bread slices with this mixture. Sieve the boiled egg over the top by pressing it through the wire mesh with the back of a spoon. Garnish with parsley.

This simple puree of black olive meat captures the richness of tree-ripened black olives. Makes about 1 cup.

1 cup pitted black olives
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of coarse salt

Crush all ingredients in a mortar and pestle or pulse in a food processor until blended.

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Filed under Food, Pinchos

Now that the world has not ended…

I am quite frankly unimpressed with Mayan divination. After spending yesterday in a state of anticipation—how cool to be among the few to witness the blazing finale—I awoke this morning only to be bitterly disappointed. Talk about an anticlimax.

On the plus side, the prospect of imminent annihilation provided the perfect excuse to indulge in copious quantities of wine and fruitcake. Why worry about your waistline or blood pressure when there’s no tomorrow?  Today, however, we have a whole new reason to celebrate. After all, it’s quite a charming little planet we live on, with its green forests and snow-capped mountains, its vineyards and olive groves and oceans. If you weren’t in the Christmas spirit already, this reassuring piece of news might stir some festive feeling. Woohoo, crack open that Rioja gran reserva and have a party.

If you were banking on Mayan meteorologists, then perhaps you’ve neglected that Christmas shopping list? Not to worry, The Spanish Table is open this Sunday and Monday all your last minute needs. Need ideas? Here’s a few of our favorite stocking stuffers and tasty morsels for you holiday table:

Stocking Stuffers

  • Half bottles of Port, Sherry, or Rioja
  • Olivewood cooking spoons (in all shapes and sizes)
  • Argentinian alfajores (chocolate-covered, dulce de leche stuffed goodness)
  • Turrón (soft, hard, crunchy or chocolate)
  • Paella aprons and oven mits
  • Little bottles of truffle infused olive oil
  • Rabitos (truffled figs, soaked in brandy and covered in chocolate)
  • Spanish anchovies in olive oil
  • Mantecados and polverones (traditional Christmas cookies)
  • Mitica orange blossom or lavender honey

For the table

  • Jamón Serrano and Ibérico
  • Chorizo – semi-cured and dry-cured
  • Manchego – young, middle-aged, and mature
  • Basque cheeses – Kukulu and Idiazabal
  • Olives stuffed everything imaginable, from chorizo to blue cheese
  • Marcona almonds, fried and salted (perfect with a glass of sherry)
  • Superb Spanish olive oil
  • Reserva Sherry vinegar
  • Artisan crackers
  • Pan de higos (dense fig  ‘bread’ dotted with whole almonds or walnuts)

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Filed under Cheese, Christmas, Food, Jamon


The anchovy has pride of place at the Spanish table. In America we tend to shy away from these oily little fish, as much as we love whisking them into sauces and burying them in a cheesy pizza. Across the Atlantic, however, anchovies are preserved in olive oil and served whole as the centerpiece in a variety of appetizers, tapas, and light meals, or they are bundled up and tucked into green olives, my favorite method of consumption. They are eaten cold in order to coax out the glorious ocean depth of their flavor. By the same token, they are rarely cooked since heat tends to bring out that forceful, unpleasant bite that makes so many people cringe at the mere mention of anchovies.

Most common in the north of Spain where they thrive in the cooler waters of the Atlantic, anchovies are often served atop pan con tomate. A thick slice of golden toast is layered with tomato, salsa escalivada – a sauce of eggplant and roasted bell peppers – and then topped with whole anchovies.  Another typical dish is an appetizer of anchovies and olives dressed with salsa l’espinaler, a simple sauce of vinegar, red pepper, and spices.

Anchoas are not to be confused with boquerones or ‘white anchovies.’ The latter have a far milder flavor and are generally fried or preserved in vinegar and eaten, pincho style, atop a round of bread.

We have a wide range of anchovies at The Spanish Table. I haven’t yet waded through all the brands, but according to the very knowledgeable Merecedes, our Catalonian in residence, Ortiz makes the finest anchovies of all. But there’s no need to take her word for it; come in and try some for yourself!


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Filed under Fish, Uncategorized