Vegetarian Tapas & Pinchos Recipes

Champiñones al Ajillo

Ingredients – Serves 4:

  • – 4 tablespoons good quality extra virgin olive oil (Spanish olive oil, if possible)
  • – 4 cloves garlic finely sliced
  • – ½ teaspoon chilli flakes
  • – 200 g button mushrooms
  • – Salt and pepper to taste
  • – Juice of half a lemon (plus 2 lemon quarters for garnish)
  • – 1 teaspoon paprika
  • – 1 tablespoon parsley finely chopped


  1. Put the olive oil into a cold frying pan and add the sliced garlic and chilli flakes. Place the pan over a medium heat and allow the oil to gently heat up until it’s sizzling. Once the oil is sizzling, cook the garlic for 1 more minute. (Take care, as garlic can easily burn if cooked too long!)
  2. Add the prawns, bring back to sizzling and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring a few times, until the prawns are pink all over and starting to curl.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and squeeze over the juice of half a lemon. Stir the prawns one last time and then turn the heat off.
  4. Sprinkle with the paprika and parsley and serve immediately, while still sizzling.
  5. Serve with crusty bread and Fino Sherry for a delicious and impressive starter, or as part of a selection of tapas.


Smokey Vegan Meatballs

  • 2 x 400g tin of black beans, drained + rinsed
  • 2 garlic clove, peeled
  • 50g / 1.8oz rolled oats
  • 80g / 2.8oz walnuts
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari for gluten-free)
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
  • salt + pepper
  • olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 356°F fan-assisted. For the meatballs, first add the beans and garlic to a food processor, along with the oats, walnuts, soy sauce, pinches of salt and pepper, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika and oregano. Pulse a dozen or so times until the mixture is combined, but avoid turning it into a mulch.
  2. Roll the mixture into 16 evenly-sized balls and transfer them to a tray. Brush each ball with olive oil, bake in the oven for 20 minutes, then remove the balls and leave them to rest on the side.
  3. Meanwhile add 2 tbsp of olive oil to a large pan on a medium heat. Then add the onion and fry for 5 minutes. Add the garlic to the pan, along with the smoked paprika and pinches of salt and pepper. Fry for 2 minutes. Next add the passata and granulated sugar. Stir, bring the sauce to a gentle boil, then lower the heat and simmer with the lid on for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce will be ready when it has thickened slightly and the sauce is no longer bitter. If necessary, cook the sauce for an extra 5-10 minutes with the lid off.
  4. When the sauce is ready, add the meatballs, turn the heat down and gently stir them into the sauce. Serve with chopped fresh parsley and freshly ground black pepper, alongside some crusty bread.

Tomato Sauce 

  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 cans chopped tomatoes each weighing 400 g/ 14 oz
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper
  1. 1.Chop the onion very finely.
  2. 2.Saute: Heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil in the same skillet. Add the onion and cook it until translucent. Add the finely chopped garlic cloves and stir for another minute.
  3. 3.Simmer: Add the tomatoes from the can, fennel seeds, oregano, bay leaves, cayenne pepper, and chopped parsley. Add some salt and pepper as well. Stir well and bring to a boil. Simmer on medium-low heat for 20 minutes or until slightly thickened.
  4. 4.Add the meatballs to the pan and heat them in the sauce for about 5 minutes or cooked through.

Halloumi Pinchos 

Ingredients – Serves 4:

  • – Packet of Halloumi
  • – 1tsp sweet paprika
  • – 1/4tsp chilli flakes
  • – 1tsp ground cumin
  • – 1tsp ground oregano
  • – 1tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • – 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • – 1 tbsp olive oil
  • – Salt and pepper


  1. Cut the halloumi into 2cm cubes, add into a mixing bowl with all the above ingredients and allow to marinate for 30 minutes.
  2. Soak wooden skewers in water for 20 minutes to protect from burning.
  3. Thread the meat onto skewers.
  4. Cook on bbq until 75C in the centre is reached.
  5. Serve with mojo picon.


Romesco Sauce

Ingredients – Makes 3 Cups:

  • One 450g jar of roasted red peppers, drained
  • ½ cup raw or roasted almonds (unsalted)
  • ¼ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed and drained
  • 2 medium-to-large cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. In a blender (preferably) or food processor, combine everything but the olive oil. Securely fasten the lid and blend, starting on low and increasing the speed as you are able to gain traction.
  3. Once the ingredients are mostly blended, start drizzling in the olive oil while running the blender. Blend until you reach your desired consistency (I like my romesco sauce pretty creamy, but you might prefer it with a chunkier texture).
  5. Taste, and add additional salt (up to ¼ teaspoon) if it doesn’t quite knock your socks off yet. Serve immediately with toasted sourdough bread rubbed with raw garlic (as a funkier version of Pan con tomate), you could add chorizo or other toppings
  7. You could also use as a sauce for arancini and many other dishes.