The 3-Ingredient Spanish Gildas That Are Almost Too Easy To Make

Spanish tapas are small bites designed to be eaten standing at the bar with friends, cocktail in hand — the ultimate small-plate food experience. Tapas are not hard to make, especially if you keep a few Spanish staples in the pantry. One iconic tapa, the Gilda, is a simple skewer of olives, anchovy, and spicy pickled peppers, but the result is an amazing flavor combination! The salty olive, umami-packed anchovy, and heat of the pepper make for an unforgettable trio with your afternoon drink.

Skewered roasted vegetables, pickles, chorizo, or other bites are known as pinxtos or banderillas in tapas bars. The Gilda banderilla was named after the iconic character played by the Spanish-born actress Rita Hayworth in the 1946 film of the same name, and (like the character) the dish is delectably salty, spicy, and will leave you wanting more. It's so easy to put together, too. Pinxtos start with a sturdy pick for holding the tasty bites. You can buy plain and decorated bamboo picks, but why not find a reusable set that will elevate both your drinks and tapas? You'll want a longer pick for making Gildas, something that can hold a couple of olives and peppers to nibble on.

Make this tasty tapa at home

With just three ingredients, it's worth splurging on high quality for each one. You should buy pitted green Spanish olives with a slightly bitter taste, such as Manzanilla or Gordal olives; these types work well with the other ingredients and provide a nice contrast to the saltiness of the fish. It's also best to pick salt-cured anchovies swimming in olive oil and avoid the vinegar-cured variety for this tapa because you want the salt to shine through here. As for the peppers to track down, Spanish chefs use a type of pickled chili pepper called guindilla, available in jars at specialty markets. Guindilla peppers are slender and slightly spicy, adding a nice touch of heat to the dish without overpowering the other flavors. If they are not available, look for banana peppers or any vinegar-packed pepper that is mild.

All that remains now is to skewer the ingredients. The order and amount of each ingredient is up to you, so if you prefer olives, go ahead and add several to the pick. Taste the peppers for spice and decide how much you'd like to add. One anchovy can be rolled into a wheel shape and secured through the middle between olives and peppers, or it can be threaded through the other ingredients. Try eating the banderilla in one bite to get all the flavors at once — we guarantee this tapa will have you coming back for more!