Entertaining in the summer often means firing up the BBQ, creating more heat and filling the patio with smoke. Why not treat your guests to a buffet of cold "tapas" and salads? All of the dishes listed below can be made ahead of time and kept chilled until ready to serve, including the light desserts. Here's a list of suggestions to make this Summer Tapas Party a party to remember, from decoration to music, and food presentation.
Time-Saving Suggestion: Do you ever have potlucks or share the cooking duties with friends? Select the dishes you'd like to serve, then print the recipes and give them to your friends to prepare and bring! It's less work for you and everyone gets bragging rights.
Ensaladilla Rusa — Spanish Potato Salad
Potato salad or ensaladilla rusa is a favorite among Spanish in tapas bars, as well as for Sunday dinners or celebration.
Grilled Eggplant in Tomato Vinaigrette Recipe — Berenjena con Vinagreta
This eggplant dish is great to serve as a tapa or a side dish, especially in spring and summer. It is the perfect make-ahead dish that you can take out a few minutes before serving. With two eggplants in the recipe, it serves 6 as a side dish and 12 as a tapa.
Melon With Serrano Ham Recipe — Melon con Jamon Serrano
Salty and full of flavor, Serrano ham makes an excellent contrast with the sweet, juicy Honeydew melon. This tapa takes about 5 to 10 minutes to prepare and requires no cooking!
Salmon Ahumado con Queso Blando — Smoked Salmon With Cream Cheese
Slices of a crusty baguette, topped with cream or fresh cheese and a thin slice of smoked salmon and a drop of lemon juice combine to make a special treat.
Goat Cheese With Paprika, Garlic, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Capers
Using typical Spanish ingredients, this tapa is quick and easy to prepare and has a deliciously smoky, yet salty taste. Roasted garlic and paprika are mixed with fresh, soft goat cheese, then spread over rustic bread and topped with sun-dried tomatoes and capers.
Pimientos Rellenos de Atún — Red Peppers Stuffed With Tuna
A great dish for the summer or anytime you want to prepare an appetizer quickly. Tuna is mixed with a bit of green onion and olives, then stuffed into roasted red peppers to make a delicious tapa.
Jamon, Queso y Chorizo con Pan — Ham, Cheese, and Chorizo With Bread
How much simpler or tasty can a tapa be?! The sliced bread topped with Spanish jamón serrano, cheese and chorizo are sure to disappear as fast as they are served. Be sure to allow the cheese to warm to room temperature before serving.
Quince Paste With Cheese Recipe — Membrillo con Queso
Quince paste or "membrillo" is a typical dessert eaten in Spain. "Membrillo" or "Dulce de Membrillo" is a sweet, very dense jelly or paste made from the fruit of the quince tree. Try it with cheese for a light dessert.
Sorbete de Vino Rioja — Rioja Wine Sorbet
What better dessert for a hot summer evening than cold sorbet? This sorbet has a Spanish twist — made with red wine, cinnamon, and lemon, which give it a special flavor.
Cava — Spanish Sparkling Wine
Serve ice cold Spanish sparkling wine with dessert or simply pour it over the sorbet for a festive dish!