spanish tapas, anyone?

i’ve always loved finger foods. tiny sandwiches at bridal showers, crab puffs at weddings, doritos on the couch. doritos are finger foods, right?! something about lots of small plates has always spoken to me, and we’ve been enamored with creating grown-up small plate meals lately. korean banchan is a nakano house favorite, but lately we’ve been toying with spanish tapas.

you guys. this meal. it was epic.


here are a few ideas to get you on the small plate bandwagon!

plated above: octopus two ways + thinly sliced t-bone steak with a rich chimichurri sauce.

the octopus on the left is gochujang, on the right is lemon. the chef marinated them in a vacuum sealed container and cooked with the sous vide, then finished on the grill.


up next, arugula + anchovy stuffed baby peppers topped with sea salt.

we cut the top off the peppers and emptied the seeds, then roasted them until they were charred. next, sauteed a large onion and added about 2 tbsp. anchovy paste. you can also use canned or fresh anchovies, but we didn’t have any. mix the onion + anchovies with a few handfuls of arugula and stuff those babies full.


oh! the balsamic glazed sweet potato wedges!

the chef sliced the sweet potatoes into wedges, tossed in oil and s+p then baked. he also made a perfect balsamic reduction glaze to pour over. ughhhh so good.

not pictured:

  • deep fried artichoke hearts — maybe my favorite part of the dinner
  • grilled chickpea, hearts of palm + chorizo salad — close second. put chorizo on anything and i’m 100% heart eyes.
  • breadcrumb + broccoli salad — also great

this is definitely not an “every day dinner” for us… most nights dinner is some sort of rice or noodle bowl. on super lazy nights, it’s a pack of ramen with an egg cracked in — but we love coming up with new dinner ideas. we had friends over for this meal, so it was a good excuse to spend a little extra time cooking. it took about 2 hours to prepare this meal.

looking at these pictures makes me wish i had a glass of sangria. yum.

hope this helps you come up with new, fun ideas!


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he's a culinary institute of america grad in medical school. she's a journalist, who prior to their meeting, used the oven solely for storage.

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