By Vicky Cohen and Ruth Fox
One of the most popular items in Spanish cuisine is, without a doubt, what us Spaniards call “tapas”. “Tapas” are simply a variety of appetizers served on small plates. They are extremely popular all over the country, each region featuring different variations. Some are hot, some are cold, and they can be served as appetizers or even a as a main meal.
Having grown up in Spain, you can probably imagine how many different varieties of tapas we’ve had the opportunity to try! Something we absolutely miss, but can be easily made at home. The recipe we’re sharing today is a spicy eggplant fritatta “montadito”
A “montadito” is type of “tapa” that consist of a small piece of crunchy bread (usually a slice of baguette), topped with, well, pretty much anything! In the Cataluña region of Spain, where we’re from, the bread is usually rubbed with fresh, ripe tomato, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and seasoned with a pinch of salt.
Here, we topped the bread with an eggplant fritatta (called “tortilla” in Spain) and added a spicy mayo just to give it a little kick.
No “tapa” is complete without, of course, a good Spanish wine. Choose a Rioja wine, and you”ll have a match made in heaven.
Rioja is a region of Spain that produces some of the best wines in the world. It was the first in the country to be awarded the “Denomincion de Origen” status, a regulatory classification system for Spanish wines, which pretty much guarantees the production of superior quality products made exclusively from grapes from the Rioja region.
The wine we chose to pair with our “montadito” is a Kosher Ramon Cardova Rioja, made from 100% Tempranillo grapes. These are carefully selected from old vines surrounding the town of Haro, La Rioja. Smooth, earthy and spicy, this red Rioja wine complements this “tapa” beautifully.
We hope you enjoy this little taste of Spain!
- 1 large eggplant, diced
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp Pimenton De La Vera or smoked paprika if you cannot find it
- 6 eggs, beaten
- ½ cup chopped parsley
- ¼ tsp salt
- For the spicy mayo:
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ½ tsp Pimenton De La Vera
- ½ tsp salt
- 3-4 dashes hot sauce (or to taste)
- ½ garlic clove, grated
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 baguette, sliced into 10 -12 slices
- 6 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil
- In a large bowl, combine eggplant, olive oil, salt and 1 teaspoon of Pimenton De La Vera. Mix well and transfer to the lined baking sheet. Bake at 400F for 25 minutes. Let it cool slightly and reduce oven temperature to 375F
- Transfer eggplant to a large bowl. Add beaten eggs, parsley and ¼ tsp salt
- Coat a square 8 x 8 with cooking spray. Pour eggplant mixture and bake at 375F for 25 minute. Set aside to cool slightly.
- In the meantime, prepare the spicy mayo. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix well
- Cut the eggplant "tortilla" in half, and each half in 5 or 6 rectangular pieces
- Lightly toast sliced baguette. Spread spicy mayo and top with a piece of tortilla, ½ cherry tomato and a tooth pick
We are two sisters born and raised in Barcelona, Spain, with Sephardic and Middle Eastern roots. We grew up eating the best, most flavorful, comforting home-cooked meals prepared by our mom, who taught us everything we know about cooking. When we moved here to the U.S. we felt it was really important to keep our traditions and background alive, and we've done so by sharing it with everyone we've met throughout the years. After all, what better way to make new friends and share our love and culture than through food, right? Our friends have come to enjoy our food and gatherings so much that are always asking us for our recipes. That inspired us to start a cooking blog called "May I have that recipe" where we share recipes we've created inspired by our multicultural background.