Inspired by the colorful darts used in bullfights, banderillas are an easy party hors d'oeuvre that require no cooking, but some creativity. Many of these ingredients are available online or in a specialty foods store.
Eve Turow for NPR
A typical selection of banderillas on display in Madrid.
A typical selection of banderillas on display in Madrid. Eve Turow for NPR
Marinated artichoke hearts
Green olives with or without pimiento
Pickled guindilla peppers
White meat tuna
Marinated pearl onions
Simply place combinations of the pickled vegetables, olives and/or marinated fish on a toothpick, creating colorful patterns and explosive flavors in one bite.
One traditional combination is the pintxo gilda (meaning lollipop) with a green olive, anchovy and 1 to 4 guindilla peppers (depending on desired spice).