patio food

The sun is out, and so am I! Potting up flowers for my patio, finishing up the final touches on my newly remodeled herb garden, and thinking about — what else — food! What to eat on the patio, that is easy, casual, satisfying and scrumptious. Spanish cuisine intrigues me, and I an enticed by small plates, or tapas, which originated there. So, here’s what I’m thinking:

Banderillas. These are small snacks assembled on a toothpick, with a number of complimenting flavors to be consumed in one bite so that the flavors meld in your mouth. It’s like a little party. I have two favorites — Potato, Olive & Tomato, Shrimp & Red Bell Pepper. Here’s what you’ll need to prepare them:

Potato, Olive & Tomato Banderillas

½ pound red skinned potatoes, boiled and then cut into bite-size chunks

½ to 1 cup lemon aioli(recipe follows)

½ pound cherry tomatoes cut in half if necessary to make bite size

1 small jar pimento stuffed Manzanilla olives


Toss potato chunks with a generous amount of mayonnaise. Thread half a cherry tomato onto a small skewer, followed by a coated potato chunk, then an olive.

A fun way to serve these is to stick the ends of the loaded skewers into half a potato or lemon, which has been placed on a platter, cut side down.

Shrimp, Artichoke & Roasted Red Bell Pepper Banderillas

1 small jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and cut into quarters

¼ pound small to medium cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 roasted red pepper, cut into strips

juice of 1 lemon


Skewer an artichoke quarter, then a shrimp, top with a folded strip of roasted pepper. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the shrimp.

Lemon Aioli

1 cup prepared mayonnaise

zest of one lemon

juice of ½ lemon

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

salt & white pepper to taste

Mix all. Store in refrigerator.

Of course, tapas originated with bread, so quite a number of them involve bread of some sort. If you going to make the lemon aioli, you might set some aside for this dish:

Tomato Bread

1 baguette, thinly sliced

1/2 cup lemon aioli

2-3 tomatoes, about the same circumference as the baguette, sliced thinly

1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin Spanish Olive oil

Sea salt

Spread each baguette slice with a bit of aioli and top with a slice of tomato. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. These may be prepared an hour in advance. Serve on a platter with parsley.


patio food — 2 Comments

  1. This is just what I was looking for, some new tasty dishes to enjoy outside. I am totally with you on tapas, I love it. I think I going to try the Shrimp, Artichoke & Roasted Red Bell Pepper Banderillas first they sound well tasty. Thanks for the new ideas. Bob

  2. Thank you so much, this was a good read. I was actually born in Spain (I’m not telling you what year though!) but was moved around europe and finally settled in the UK when I was 6. I don’t remember much of the few years I was in spain, but the delicious smell of spanish food always seems to get me going or something. It’s weird how I dont remember anything except the smells,isn’t it! I actually found a whole website dedicated to Spanish recipes, which gave me great delight and thought I really should to share. Anyway, thank you again. I’ll get my son to add your feed to my rss thing…

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