Real vegetarian food, served in an imaginary world...

Friday 14 December 2018

TEMPTING TAPAS - A Meal for a Friend

Eating out is great. But last time, Zelda and Stuie went out for tapas, they were offered a bottle of wine for £24 which they knew was available for £5 in the local supermarket - rather a large mark-up! So, this time, they are eating in (with wine, of course!)

Garlic Mushrooms
Patatas Bravas
Roast Chickpeas
Cheesy Garlic Bread
Pesto and Mozzarella Tarts

GARLIC MUSHROOMS (adapted from Posh Mushrooms on Toast)

150g mushrooms, sliced
25g butter
Salt and pepper
1 garlic clove, crushed
75ml double cream
3 sprigs of fresh thyme

Melt the butter in a pan. When it foams, add the mushrooms. Toss to make sure they are all coated and then allow to cook for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the garlic and cook for a minute more. Then pour over the cream and sprinkle in leaves from two of the sprigs of thyme.
Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring every now and then until it thickens. Season to taste.
Serve in a bowl.


3tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 large tin chopped tomatoes
1tbsp tomato ketchup
2tbsp paprika
1tsp chilli powder
500g potatoes, peeled

Heat 1tbsp of the oil and cook the onion until slightly brown. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more.
Pour in the tomatoes and add the ketchup and the spices.
Bring to the boil and simmer for at least 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the potatoes into cubes. Coat with the remaining oil and spread over the base of a baking tray.
Roast at 200°C/ Gas 6 for about 40 minutes, stirring half-way.
When golden, tip into the sauce (reheat it if necessary). Stir to coat.


400g can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and allowed to dry
1tbsp olive oil
Salt and black pepper
1tsp chilli flakes

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.
Place them on a baking tray and cook at 200°C/ Gas 6 for about 25 minutes.
Serve when firm until golden.

1 red onion, peeled and chopped finely
12 small, sweet tomatoes, chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 slices of thick crust bread
small bunch of thyme leaves

Mix the onion, tomatoes, garlic, vinegar and thyme together in a bowl. Season and set aside for up to an hour to allow the flavours to develop.
When ready to serve, toast the bread on both sides and cut each slice in half.
Spread the tomato mixture over each piece.


500g strong white flour + extra for shaping
7g sachet fast-action yeast
1tsp salt
2tbsp olive oil
1tbsp honey
30g butter
2 garlic cloves
75g cheddar cheese, finely grated
2tsp fresh thyme leaves

Place the flour, yeast and salt in a bowl.
Mix the oil and honey with 300ml warm water.
Pour this into the flour, stirring well throughout until you have a soft, sticky dough.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and, with floured hands, knead until the dough feels silky and stops sticking. Add more flour as needed.
Place back in the bowl and cover. Leave in a warm place for about 45 minutes until the dough has doubled in size.
Knock back and knead again. Then stretch out in a tray.
Soften the butter. Crush the garlic and mix both together.
Spread this over the top of the dough.
Sprinkle over the cheese and thyme leaves.
Cover again and leave to rise again.
Cook at 200°C/ Gas 6/ 390°F for about 30 minutes.

Allow to cool slightly and then cut into slices or chunks.


½ small jar pesto
1 sheet ready-made puff pastry
1 ball mozzarella

Cut pastry into six. Place on baking tray and cut a groove about 1cm from the edge to form a border. Prick the pastry inside the border several times with a fork.
Place in oven at about 200°C/ 390°F/ Gas 6  for 10 mins.
Spread the pesto over the centre of each tart.
Rip the mozzarella into small pieces and place it on top of the pesto.
Place back in oven for about 20 minutes until risen and golden.

Other ideas:
Houmous with breadsticks
Fried Halloumi
Stuffed Red Pepper
Sal Mineo's Pizza Snacks


  1. WOW!...Each and every item on the menu looks DELICIOUS! Making me hungry...the cheese garlic bread and tartes especially! I recently read about roasted chickpeas, but had never tried them...and here you are serving I must try them!

  2. Thanks Greg. I was away when you posted your comment so sorry for the delay. Dave says he doesn't like chickpeas, but when these were on the table ready for Stuie's arrival, he couldn't stop picking at them! One of those really easy dishes you wonder you never made before.