Recipe: Trail Tapas
These Spanish-style bites make a perfect lunch or an easy before-dinner snack.
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A lot of backpackers associate stove-free hiking trips with substandard food—if you’re not cooking, the feeling goes, you’ll just end up eating energy bars and bland tortilla wraps. As this smart spread proves, there’s no reason that has to be true. You’ll need to make a trip to the store and do a little prep beforehand to get this tapas-style arrangement, which includes chocolate-and-nut-stuffed dates, sardines, and hard cheese—ready to go. But oh, are the results worth it.
4 pieces naan bread (or 6 thick, taco-size flour tortillas)
1 cup grapes
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp olive oil
½ tsp oregano
8 large, pitted dates
8 whole walnuts
1 chocolate bar (try orange- or spice-flavored)
1 clove garlic
2.5 oz. packet olives
2.8 oz. tube of sun-dried tomato paste
3 oz. chunk Parmesan cheese
1 shelf-stable chorizo
3 oz. sardines
2 0.3-oz. honey packets
At home ➞ Cut naan in half, wrap the stack in a paper towel, then seal tightly in plastic wrap. Put grapes in a snack-size zip-top bag with a moist paper towel, allowing about 1 inch of zipper seal to remain open. Combine vinegar, oregano, and olive oil in small, screw-top container. Carefully split each date down the center (like a taco), then stuff each with a walnut and a chunk of chocolate. Store stuffed dates in a plastic container.
On the trail ➞ Peel garlic and cut in half, then gently rub on each piece of bread. Pro move: Warm bread on a hot stone from your campfire. Cut into wedges. Make tapenade: Drain olive packet, then break olives up by squeezing each one inside the bag. Squeeze in about two tablespoons tomato paste. Shake vinegar mixture well; add half to the olives and stir (the rest is for dipping). On a large plate, break cheese into half-inch chunks using a fork. Slice chorizo into bite-size pieces. Arrange grapes, dates, cheese, sausage, and bread on a plate. Place drained can of sardines and tapenade packet on a plate. Assemble creatively!
➔Tapenade, sardines, chorizo
➔Cheese, grape, honey
➔Chorizo, cheese, tomato paste
➔Dunk cheese in balsamic mixture before topping bread
– Serves 2 as dinner, 3-4 as an appetizer