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Tapas Recipe with Almonds, Olives and Cheese


These three simple ingredients are lightly flavored to create a delicious Spanish tapas medley that’s perfect for a casual starter or nibbles to serve with drinks before dinner.

PREP TIME: 15 min
COOK TIME: 5 min
READY TIME: 20 min
CALORIES: 478 /serving
CUISINE: Mediterranean

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For the marinated olives

  • ½ tsp (2.5 ml) coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp (2.5 ml) fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) sherry vinegar
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
  • ⅔ cup (4 oz/115 g) black olives
  • ⅔ cup (4 oz/115 g) green olives

For the marinated cheese

  • 5 oz (150 g) goat’s cheese, preferably manchego
  • 6 tbsp (90 ml) olive oil
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) black peppercorns
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • 3 fresh tarragon or thyme sprigs
  • Tarragon sprigs to garnish

For the salted almonds

  • ¼ tsp (1.5 ml) cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) sea salt
  • 2 tbsp (1 oz/25 g) butter
  • 4 tbsp (60 ml) olive oil
  • 1¾ cups (200 g/7 oz) blanched almonds
  • Extra salt for sprinkling (optional)


1 To make the marinated olives, crush the coriander and fennel seeds with a pestle and mortar. Mix together with the rosemary, parsley, garlic, vinegar and oil and pour over the olives in a small bowl. Cover and chill for up to 1 week.

2 To make the marinated cheese, cut the cheese into bite-size pieces, leaving the rind on. Mix together the oil, vinegar, peppercorns, garlic and herb sprigs and pour over the cheese in a small bowl. Cover and chill for up to 3 days.

3 To make the salted almonds, mix together the cayenne pepper and salt in a bowl. Melt the butter with the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the almonds to the pan and fry, stirring for about 5 minutes, until the almonds are golden.

4 Tip the almonds out of the frying pan into the salt mixture and toss together until the almonds are coated. Leave to cool, and then store them in a jar or airtight container for up to 1 week.

5 To serve the tapas, arrange in small, shallow serving dishes. Use fresh sprigs of tarragon to garnish the cheese.


If serving with drinks before dinner, provide cocktail sticks for spearing the olives and cheese.