First things first, what is a pintxo? Pronounced “pinch-o”, they are miniature culinary work of art, traditionally eaten in bars in northern Spain. “Pintxo” is a Basque word that literally means a “spike”, referring to the stick these delicious bites are typically served on. Here’s our 5 top tips for making the perfect pintxo:
- More parsley. One of the only herbs used by the Basques in cooking. It adds great colour and subtle flavour. Often it’s hard to keep fresh herbs on hand, so a good trick is to chop up a lot of it and freeze it well-wrapped. Then, when a recipe calls for fresh chopped parsley, just grab what you need. It keeps its colour and looks and tastes much better than dried parsley.
- Be inspired! Pintxo recipes are often more fun and look even better when you bring your own ideas or creativity into action. Look in your cupboards or fridge for extra ingredients which might add colour or texture to a recipe.
- Set the scene! Pintxos look amazing when they are part of a large display. This will help create the wow-factor when guests enter the room and see your pintxos. Create a feel of abundance by using small piles or stacks of pintxos.
- Think big. Giving any dish height increases its presence and will make it look more impressive. Look for a variety of heights in your plates of finished pintxos, both in terms of your display of them (putting a thick wooden chopping board or two under a plate of mushrooms for example) as well as the actual construction of the pintxo itself.
- Take your time. Pintxos need lots of love, care and attention. You will likely make three or more different pintxos so be realistic as to how long it will take to not only prepare but display your pintxos. We find the finishing touches, a sprinkle of parsley or drizzle of balsamic vinegar make all the difference to the overall effect and your guests’ enjoyment.
Now you’re ready to go, head to the recipe section to find delicious pintxos you can create at home.