It is surprisingly simple to transform small and sustainable fish such as anchovies, sprats and sardines into homemade tapas. The smaller non-carnivorous fish are both a healthier and more sustainable Seafood Choice due to their lower position on the food-chain. Unlike larger carnivorous fish such as Salmon or Tuna, these species have accumulated less toxins in their bodies and their vegetarian diet during their lifetime has depleted less of the total biomass of the sea.
In Spain, the small-fish variety typically used for tapas are called Boquerones, (or “white anchovies”) . These can be purchased pre-cleaned and packaged at specialty shops, butnpreparing them yourself, despite the mess, is always preferable for the palate.
Start by scoring some fresh local small fish variety from your local fish monger. Next, rinse them well and theb make a smakk slit along the underside of the belly. Remove and discard the innards, and then the entirety of the backbone, by gently running your knife under it and sliding the knife from the tail-end upwards.
Remove and discard any small bones you may find remaining in the filesh, and then submerge the the filets in a shallow bowl of white wine vinegar.
Leave the fish under in vinegar overnight in your refrigerator. The marination will soften any tiny bones you may have failed to remove. Changing the vinegar during the night is a nice touch, but is not absolutely necessary.
The following morning simply pour off the vinegar and immerse the fish in some good quality olive oil. Now add sliced garlic, a handful of finely minced parsley, and a squeesze of lemon juice. Setore the oil-submerged fish in a glass container in your refrigerator. In this condition, the fish will keep for several days if necessary.
When you are ready to serve, top-off the tapas with a fresh squeeze of lemon juice, a pinch of (smoked) salt, and a final drizzle of fine olive oil. Serve with thick wedges of rustic country bread topped with fresh butter, fresh-picked radishes, and cherry tomatoes, cold roasted fingerling potatoes, whole roasted garlic cloves, chunks of fresh sheep’s milk cheese, various olives, and pickled onions.