Spanish food is rich in color and bold in flavor. The wonderful Mediterranean climate Spain enjoys means that a wide variety of tasty and nutritious vegetables are available all year round while a huge range of fish and seafood are caught around its shores. Add to this the wide variety of hams and spicy sausages available in the country and you are often spoiled for choice. Tapas is an eating concept which ties in very well with the tasty treats available as it sees a large number of dishes served simultaneously with the idea being that you help yourself to a little bit of whatever takes your fancy.
The combined ingredients list for this Spanish tapas platter is fairly lengthy. What I have done for ease of reference is list the ingredients and directions for each component part in separate sections. I have also included them in the order which they should ideally be prepared.
Spanish Tapas Platter for Two
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Platter for two of sample Spanish tapas creations

The potatoes and eggs included in this dish require to be cooked before you start preparing the individual recipes proper.

You will need three or four small new potatoes. Put them in a pot of cold salted water and bring the water up to a moderate simmer. Cook for fifteen to twenty minutes until the potatoes are just softened. Drain, cover and set aside to cool completely.

Potatoes for Boiling
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Potatoes ready for boiling

It is better to use eggs for hard boiling which are at least five days old rather than very fresh. You will get far superior results. The eggs should also be removed from the fridge at least twenty minutes before they are cooked.

Eggs Ready for Boiling
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Eggs ready for boiling

The eggs should go in to a pot of cold water which is then brought to a simmer for eight to ten minutes, depending upon the size of the eggs. When the time is up, take the pot to your sink and run cold water in to it for about twenty seconds so that the eggs are cool enough to handle. Crack the shells and carefully peel before re-submerging the eggs in cold water for ten minutes to cool them quickly. This prevents the blue-grey discoloration forming around the yolk. Pat dry with kitchen paper, put on a plate and leave until required.

Tomato, Cucumber and Olive Salad

Seeding Tomato and Cucumber
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Tomato and cucumber are cut and seeded


  • 1 medium tomato
  • 2 inch piece of cucumber
  • 6 to 8 pitted black olives
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt


This way of cutting a tomato looks pretty impressive but it's actually very easy to do. Simply make deep cuts (through to the core) at alternate forty-five degree angles all the way around the central circumference and gently pull the two halves apart. One half can be covered and used for alternative purposes. Scoop all the seeds and pulp from the other with a teaspoon.

The cucumber piece should be cut in half lengthways and the teaspoon used again to scrape out and discard the watery pulp. Finely dice the cucumber, quarter the black olives and combine in a bowl with some extra virgin olive oil and salt.

Tuna and Mixed Bean Salad

Mixing Tuna Salad Ingredients
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Tuna salad ingredients are combined in small bowl


  • 2 tablespoons canned mixed bean salad, drained and rinsed in a colander under cold water
  • 1 tablespoon tuna canned in sunflower oil (include a teaspoon of the oil)
  • Black pepper


The only preparation required for this dish is to add all the ingredients to a bowl and gently stir to combine.

Spicy Potato and Warm Bean Salad

Potatoes and Green Beans
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Boiled potatoes and green beans for salad

Put two small heatproof bowls in to your oven at its lowest setting. They will be required to keep this creation and one of the others warm.


  • Potatoes prepared and cooled previously
  • 12 green beans
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and black pepper


Pour about a tablespoon of olive oil in to a small frying pan and bring it up to a medium heat. The potatoes could be peeled if you wish but I prefer to leave the skins intact. Quarter the potatoes, trim the beans and cut in to one inch pieces.

Sauteing Potatoes and Green Beans
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Sauteing potatoes and green beans

Add the bean and potato pieces to the pan. Season with salt, pepper and the paprika. Turn up the heat a little and fry for two or three minutes until the potatoes start to crisp up and turn golden.

Sauteed Potatoes and Beans
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Sauteed potatoes and green beans ready for transferring to warm oven

Remove one of the warmed bowls from the oven and spoon in the contents of the pan. Put the bowl back in to the oven to keep the dish warm.

Sauteed Mixed Bell Peppers with Chorizo

Starting to Saute Bell Peppers
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Starting to saute bell peppers


  • 12 slices from chorizo (cured and ready to eat Spanish type), around ¼ inch thick
  • Generous handful of mixed sliced bell peppers (bought in pack from supermarket)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Black pepper (optional)
Chorizo Slices added to Bell Peppers
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Chorizo is added to partly sauteed bell peppers


Take a wad of kitchen paper and wipe the frying pan used to prepare the potatoes and beans. Pour in some fresh oil and bring it up to a medium heat. Stir fry the peppers for a couple of minutes until they are just starting to soften before adding the chorizo for a further half minute's sauteing. Season with black pepper if desired.

Sauteed Chorizo and Bell Peppers
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Sauteed chorizo and bell peppers

Transfer to the second heated bowl and keep warm briefly in the oven.

Warm Celery, Raisin and Garlic Salad

Celery, Raisins and Garlic
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Celery, raisins and garlic


  • 2 celery sticks, washed and trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon raisins
  • 2 medium garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 
  • Salt and black pepper
Celery, Raisins and Garlic Ready for Sauteeing
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Celery, raisins and garlic ready for sauteeing


The celery sticks should be sliced to small kidney shapes around a quarter of an inch thick. Put them in to a small saucepan with the raisins and the olive oil. Peel the garlic cloves before using a small hand grater to grate them in to the pan. The pan should go on to a medium heat for a couple of minutes. Stir frequently with a wooden spoon.

Morcilla (Blood/Black Pudding) and King Scallops

Frying Blood Pudding
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Blood pudding slices are gently fried

In the UK, it's called black pudding; in the USA, it's called blood sausage or blood pudding; in France, it's boudin noir. The specific creation does actually vary in texture and more by location but the principal ingredients are the same and the Spanish equivalent is morcilla


  • 6 quarter inch thick slices from mini blood pudding/morcilla
  • 6 king scallops
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Full cream milk as required


Once again, give the frying pan a wipe with some kitchen paper and add some more olive oil. Lay the blood pudding slices in the warmed oil and fry for a couple of minutes each side.

Scallops in Milk
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

King scallops are added to a small saucepan with enough milk to ensure they are fully covered

The roe (orange bit) of scallops is something I do normally cook in place and eat but these scallops were bought with it already removed. Don't fall in to the trap of thinking it's inedible - it's not. It may not be quite as tasty as the main muscle but it is also delicious and should be cooked and served where available.

This foolproof method of cooking scallops was taught me by a friend of mine who dives and hand collects scallops off the West Coast of Scotland. Provided you keep an eye on proceedings, you simply can't go wrong. Essentially, put the scallops (with or without roe) in to a saucepan and pour in just enough milk to ensure they are fully covered. Put the pot on to a medium heat and as soon as the milk reaches a simmer (don't let it boil), lift the scallops from the pan with a slotted spoon. They're cooked to absolute perfection and ready to eat.

Draining Blood Pudding
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Blood pudding slices are drained on kitchen paper

When the blood pudding slices are done, lift them briefly to a plate covered with kitchen paper to drain and slightly dry off.

Frigidaire Chilled 8 Section Appetizer Tray
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If you don't have a sectioned platter in which you can serve a combination dish of this type, you will find a great many options available on Amazon. The one above includes eight separate sections as well as a dipping well, has a lid for ease of transport perhaps for picnics and the sections are all removable for ease of cleaning. It would be perfect for serving tapas and a great deal more besides.

Plating Up the Tapas Components

Starting to Plate Up Tapas
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Starting to plate up tapas

The specific plating arrangements here relate of course to my colorful platter. It was a gift many years ago, so I have no idea where it was purchased. Plating up is easily varied and down to available options.

In this instance, I halved the eggs and seasoned them lightly with paprika. I put one half in each relevant section of the platter. The central well, I filled with the scooped out tomato, using some of the cucumber and olives to fill it and the rest of it to surround. The rest of the individual dishes were plated in the available sections. 

Almost Assembled Tapas Platter
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Tapas platter is almost fully assembled