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Making vegan tapas at home

It started with the padron peppers. 

They turned up in my veg box the other week. I love padron peppers. Mr Flicking the Vs loves them too, it transpires. He was gnawing meditatively around the core of one the other day, musing about how much he liked padron peppers in particular, and tapas in general. 

Then, I thought, how long has it been since we last had tapas? Have I ever even attempted to make tapas?

And with that, my mind threw down a mental gauntlet: 'let's see if we can't make a whole tapas meal together!' said my brain. 'Stupid brain!' said I. 'Tapas is a right nightmare to make'. 'But it's delicious,' whispered the brain. 'It's delicious and if you make it, then you can eat loads of tapas.'

Brain won. 

So what tapas should I make? Padron peppers, obviously, because they landed me in this mess in the first place. 

Then, I hit up Wikipedia for some ideas on tapas dishes to make. I settled on carcamusa first, because it seemed to be the meatiest of all tapas dishes, and therefore in need of some serious veganising. I used some vegan mince and some dried soy slabs to stand in for the meat, and then lots of paprika, tomato, and chilli.


I made some patatas bravas too, because making patatas bravas is always a good idea. I even made some homemade sauce, rather than chucking a bit of paprika into some tomato sauce, which is what I'd normally do. Mr Flicking the Vs likened my patatas bravas and the homemade smokey sauce as a bit like posh chips and ketchup. I'm taking that as a complement.

Then I decided I needed to make garbanzos con espinacas, as a tapas restaurant near where I used to live made a great version and I've been dreaming of them ever since. It's a great dish despite being relatively simple. Here's the recipe I used if you fancy giving it a go yourself (side note: if you don't like cumin, maybe give it a swerve.)

The green beans, well, they're just green beans in harissa sauce. They're in no way tapas, but they tasted good and they were handy to make up the numbers.

And last... drum roll please... tortillas de patatas! I remember having a cracking Spanish omelette in Madrid from a restaurant now sadly closed, and an equally delicious readymade one from a shop in Valencia. But I have I ever made one? Have I heck. It seemed time to change that.


While the tortilla de patatas I've eaten before were tofu based, a lot of the recipes I found online were using chick pea flour as an egg replacement, so I thought I'd try that instead.

I fried up some onions, boiled up some potatoes, and combined the whole lot with a besan, garlic powder, and turmeric batter, then baked it into the oven until it was set.

The end result: nowhere near as good as the tofu-based ones I've tried before, a bit dry, but definitely edible.

After me and Mr Flicking the Vs had fallen on our plates of tapas and picked them clean like hungry vultures, I still had half a dish of Spanish omelette left.

What do you do with a load of leftover Spanish omelette? I remembered being on a train somewhere in Spain, where the onboard catering included a massive baguette filled only with Spanish omelette. If someone had made a vegan option, I'd have been all over it.

With half an omelette left, I decided to be that person - I made my own vegan Spanish omelette sandwich. No eggs, no baguette, but still 100 percent glorious. Making tapas really pays out.


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6 comments

  1. Please please please come to my kitchen and make me tapas and I will be eternally grateful - that looks amazing - I want it all but esp the spanish tortilla - and it makes me want to cry because I had a sad holiday in spain where I just didn't come to grips with the food and couldn't work out what to eat and I wish to have it all over again and find your tapas in a bar somewhere! Great effort!

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  2. I can't imagine (well, yes I can) how much time you spent making this glorious plate, but obviously, it was worth it. Now I'm starving, but lacking your determination, will probably head to the kitchen and spread hummus on a piece of toast. If only I had a spare Spanish omelette on hand!

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  3. It's so fun (and so exhausting) to make a bunch of different dishes like this. I felt this way the one-and-only time I made myself a Full English Breakfast... so fun, SO many dirty dishes!! ha ha

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  4. I am very impressed! Good on you - what a creative and delicious mix of dishes.

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  5. A lot of people say to me tapas is easy and I disagree, esp if you are making all the components yourself from scratch - so well done and loud applause from the audience to you for effort. My husband would love you so much right now, he loves tapas and I don't I don't do it enough, so like Johanna I would request that you please come to my kitchen and make me tapas too! :) As for Padron Peppers I have still not cooked with them, shame on me

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  6. Awesome tapas! I've seen those padron peppers at the local farmer's market but haven't tried them. Now I'm inspired to make me some tapas. :-)

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