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A fiery, red-headed newbie Vegan who loves wine, food, reading, writing, and all things curious.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tapas Tuesday Olive You :)

Tapas: Small dishes of rich, savory foods from the various regions of Spain. 

I love the small plate tradition-- Spanish Tapas, Greek Mezes, or Italian Antipasta. Unlike the appetizer course, these tiny portions stand alone as a meal of beautiful, complex flavors and aromas. 

If you are having a holiday gathering, tapas are a great alternative to the heavier dishes of the season. Guests can sample everything and not feel like they have to roll out the door at the end of the night. (Well maybe if they had too much spiced wine...)

And tapas make a beautiful presentation:

Olive Medley
Marinated Mushrooms
Roasted Garlic
Marinated Tofu With Kiwi Relish
Olive Tapenade
Spanish Olives & Tofu

Although many tapas dishes contain sausages, cheeses, or eggs, there are many vegan options. Olives are so versatile and can be used in a variety of ways or just served alone with some crackers. Potatoes are another option. Stayed tuned to Carrot Top Vegan on Tuesdays for lots of delectable small plate recipes! 

Here is a simple, but rich olive tapenade I like to serve on crackers or pita points:

Olive Tapenade
(makes about 1/2 cup)


1/2 cup Pitted Kalamata Olives
1 clove Garlic, smashed
Pinch of Dried Lemon Peel
1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
1 tsp Sherry Wine
1-2 tsp Olive Oil


Add all ingredients except oil to mini food processor and pulse a few times to break up olives. Add 1 tsp olive oil at a time, pulsing a few times to incorporate. Mix until combined. 


  1. I'm not a fan of olives, but Mike would love this recipe. The kiwi relish looks great!

  2. Thanks. The relish recipe will be up soon. :)

  3. That spread right there is my idea of an excellent party meal! I love small plates that can be nibbled throughout the night, and everything you're serving looks delicious. Olives, garlic, mushrooms- How could you go wrong? :)

  4. Mmm...olives, garlic and mushrooms...the holy trinity of tapas in my book :)

  5. love that relish and the olive spread.. i love small helpings..i get scared when i see too much same food:) with a good number of dishes, u dont really need to make lots of anything!

  6. Thanks :) I agree, I prefer a varied selection of small dishes than one big heavy meal. I have gone to holiday parties and filled up on the appetizers only to find a full meal served after that. Sometime it just gets to be too much.