A decade ago author Fiona Dunlop wrote a little book called Real Tapas. It has just been republished and as you browse through its 75 recipes, you are sure to find one or two or perhaps more that capture your attention.
Fiona explains that many of these recipes are new experiments by chefs riding the rising wave of interest in tapas. The past 30 years have seen tapas extend outside of Spain with high interest in urban areas where a culture of drink-eat-walk can be found seven nights a week.
Classic tapas dates back centuries and until recently each Spanish bar offered a limited assortment — often only one, the true house special. Today, to capture customers and have them stay longer, the menu is often more diverse. And influences on that menu include inputs from every region around Spain plus some French contributions that slip through the passes in the Pyrenees.
I have a particular love for anchovies. I think it dates back to my first Caesar Salad, made at the table, and authentic down to mashing those aromatic anchovies.
So, in wandering through Real Tapas, I found two whole pages with four anchovy recipes, including this one featuring smoked salmon. Suzen and I have just returned from Seattle where the TSA guy opened our carry-on baggage because of suspicious lumpy objects. Ice packs and smoked salmon.
When to serve this appealing tapas? Somewhere from brunch to a midnight snack. It’s particularly ideal for warm summer nights when you are both hungry and exhausted. Quick to make, totally satisfying to consume.
The recipe in Real Tapas calls for only toast, anchovies, and smoked salmon. I’ve Americanized it. After all, tapas is world-wide!
Anchovy and Smoked Salmon Toasts
Yield: for 4 servings
- 8 anchovy fillets, marinated in vinegar
- 4 slices of French bread, freshly toasted
- 4 thin slices of smoked salmon
- Sour cream or crème fraiche or a flavored mayonnaise
- Sliced chives, scallion, herbs of your choice or all
Lay two anchovy fillets on top of each piece of toast. Freshly toasted bread, please!
Lay a slim strip of smoked salmon on top of the fillets. You want some salmon flavor, but you do not want so much salmon that the underlying anchovy flavor is overpowered.
Stream a line of sour cream or crème fraiche on top of the salmon. If you want to experiment here, you can use a flavored mayonnaise — wasabi for example.
Dot the very top with finely diced chives, scallions, herbs or some combination. Even finely diced peppers will work here. You want color for visual excitement as much as for flavor.
Sources: Real Tapas by Fiona Dunlop
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