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At the moment our local village Los Belones has the Ruta de la Tapa where you can get a dish of food and a beer for 2.50€! This is excellent value for a quick snack and a chance to try the different cuisine from each eatery. Los Belones 9th Ruta de la Tapa has 26 bars to choose from and a chance to judge the best. Thought to have started on a slice of bread designed to cover the glass to stop flies falling in, tapas are very easy to make. The style is robust and appearance is not really important. The ingredients are inexpensive and reflect the seasons and also are often very traditional. The idea of a little plate of food to tide you over until the next meal appeals to many people and the hardest part is not ordering too many tapas!

Buen Apetito


6 garlic cloves

½ teaspoon salt

2 large egg yolks

60ml extra virgin olive oil

100ml vegetable oil

Peel and finely chop the garlic and put in a mortar with the salt and using the pestle grind to a paste. Put the garlic in a food processor, add the egg yolks and mix well then combined oils, a little at a time until the mixture is very thick. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Spanish Meatballs (albondigas)

250g pork sausages

400g lean mince meat

1 tsp dried chilli flakes

1 garlic clove crushed

1 medium onion

1-2 tsp plain flour

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1 small red pepper


700g tomato pulp

Salt and pepper

Squeeze the sausage meat out of its casing into a large bowl. Add the mince, chilli flakes, garlic, half the chopped onion and mix thoroughly, then season. Sprinkle flour over a board and heap a teaspoon of mixture and roll in the flour until ball shaped. Heat olive oil in frying pan and fry meatballs until brown all over. Place in an oven proof dish. Fry remaining onion in the frying pan with the diced pepper and paprika for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the tomato pulp and cook for another 3 minutes and then season. Pour the sauce over the meatballs and cook in oven for 30 minutes on 190º.

Ham, Melon and Fig Tapa

12 cocktail sticks

2 slices of Serrano ham

12 small cubes of melon

3 figs

Wrap one slice of ham around each cube of melon and skewer a piece of fig on each and serve

Baby Gem lettuce with Anchovies Tapa

2 baby gem lettuce

12 anchovies

Extra virgin olive oil

Freshly ground pepper

Remove and discard the outer leaves from the lettuce and chop the lettuce in half lengthways. Then chop each half into three lengthways wedges. Place each wedge, pointy side up, on a serving plate and position an anchovy down its length. Drizzle generously with olive oil and season with black pepper.

Deep Fried Squid Rings (calamares romana)

600g fresh squid

Vegetable oil

100g plain flour

2 eggs beaten

100g breadcrumbs

Prepare the squid by pulling out and discarding the head and the attached intestines from the tube-like body. Remove and discard the long thin cartilage. Cut off the wings from the body and pull the skin away and discard. Rinse the tubes under cold water and then pat dry. Cut the tubes into rings about 5mm thick. Put the flour, egg and breadcrumbs into three separate bowls and line them up in order. Dredge the squid rings in the flour then dip them in the egg mixture and finally the breadcrumbs. Deep fry them in the vegetable oil for 1 to 1½ minutes until golden but do not overcook or squid will go tough.

Potatas Bravas

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

6 medium potatoes

1 large onion chopped

2 garlic cloves crushed

2 red chillies

½ tsp cumin

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

400ml chopped tomatoes

1 tsp caster sugar

Cook the cubed potatoes in 3 tbsp olive oil until golden. Transfer the potatoes and any remaining olive oil into a baking dish and cook in the oven 200º for 15 minutes. Heat the remaining olive oil in frying pan and sauté the onion. Add garlic, chillies and cumin and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for a further 10-12 minutes. Drain the potatoes from the oil and place in a large dish, pour the sauce over the potatoes and serve.