Sure, these are strictly recipes as much as they are “rules”, but if you follow them then you can serve me these three things as tapas every day of my life and I will be Happy Pants McGee™.
Okay, these absolutely must be fresh, marinated anchovies. From the chilled section of your supermarket or deli.
If you live somewhere that doesn’t have fresh anchovies in the chilled section of your supermarket then serve something else. Or move.
Do not replace them with canned anchovies. This isn’t a judgement, I adore canned anchovies. On pizza, in/as a pasta sauce, you name it.
But they aren’t tapas. Go with calamari or salt cod or something instead.
(Alternatively, if you want to use canned anchovies, mash them together, mix with some soft cheese and capers and serve as tostadas.)
The only thing you need to do with marinated anchovies is decant into a serving bowl and refresh with half a squeeze of lemon.
This is a Spanish ewe’s milk cheese that is readily available (in leafy West London, at least). And it’s fantastic. For some reason (greediness) I didn’t take a phone photo of it but whatever. Y’all know what cheese looks like.
Cut it into triangular wedges and fan them out on your serving dish. Then drizzle over some runny honey and top with thyme leaves. You can actually skip those last two steps if you like.
You would think this would be the easy step. It’s not.
Like the anchovies, the olive situation is binary. If you can’t get Spanish olives then skip them. (Or, do what I do, and organise the whole meal based around the provenance of the olives. )
But you can get Spanish olives. If you live anywhere near the EEA then you’re probably eating them anyway. (Spanish olives provide 40% of the world’s olive oil.)
If you don’t live near or in the EEA, then go with fresh, green olives. It will be the same species. Ask for Manzanillo. While this is technically a region, they grow the most common kind of olive.
But remember. Fresh. Green.
And that’s it. I would eat these three things every day of my life if I could.
Note: This post is part of a Scotland series that was brought to you automatically by the good robots at WordPress. If your comments don’t show up immediately it is because I am drunk in the highlands somewhere.