Spanish Gildas Recipe: The Original Basque Pintxo

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by Maggie Turansky


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If you want to travel to San Sebastian without leaving your kitchen, then this Spanish gilda recipe is for you! The original pintxo (a Basque-style tapa), it is so-called after the Rita Hayworth movie of the same name because it of its “spicy” nature.

Today, the gilda can be found in virtually every bar in the Spanish Basque country and it is a very common aperitivo throughout Spain.

It’s one of the most perfect dishes to start out with as you’re hopping from bar to bar while in Spain, but it’s also easy to make at home and is a fantastic appetiser no matter the occasion.

For those who love briny, salty flavours, then you’re sure to love the Basque gilda – the original pintxo is absolutely delicious and so so simple to throw together.

Spanish Gildas
Spanish Gildas

How to Make Spanish Gildas

Today, there are numerous different kinds of gildas and you will find variations of them throughout the Basque Country and Spain as a whole. The kind that I’ve developed for this recipe is known as a matrimonio – which directly translates to a marriage.

In practice, this means that it uses both an oil-packed anchovy (referred to as an anchoa in Spain) and a marinated anchovy (known as a boquerón en vinagre). This is my personal preference as I like the combination of the briny acidity of the boquerón along with the salty umami of the anchoa.

Ingredients for gildas
Ingredients for gildas

It’s important that you use high-quality oil-packed anchovies – generally, these are found in the refrigerated section rather than in the shelf-stable tinned section. Because you’re eating this straight, you want it to taste as good as possible!

Making the gildas couldn’t be easier. First, you want to spear a pitted green olive onto a toothpick or small skewer. A manzanilla olive would be the most common variety used in Spain, but you can go ahead and use any kind of high-quality green olive you can find.

Follow the olive with an oil-packed anchovy that’s been folded in half. Push this up to meet the olive.

Prepping the gildas
Prepping the gildas

Next, spear a guindilla pepper (these can be bought online here) onto the skewer. If you’d like to remove the stem beforehand, go ahead, but it really isn’t necessary.

After the pepper, add a marinated anchovy the same way that you added the previous anchovy. Follow this with another guindilla pepper.

Finally, spear a final green olive to your skewer. Then, repeat these steps with your remaining gildas! Finish them off with a drizzle of a good extra virgin olive oil and serve.

Gildas go particularly well with a glass of a nice vermouth (the saltiness pairs very well with the sweetness of vermouth), but they’re sure to be a hit no matter what you serve!

Gildas served with vermouth
Gildas served with vermouth

And if you’re looking for another great appetiser to serve alongside these, my briny and simple olive tapenade, padrón peppers or my mojo picón olives are great accompaniments!

Spanish Gildas

Spanish Gildas Pintxo

The original Basque pintxo, these olive and anchovy skewers are the perfect accompaniment to a glass of vermouth or a crisp Spanish white. This version is colloquially known as a "matrimonio" – or a marriage – as it consists of both oil-packed and marinated anchovies.
5 from 4 votes
Servings 8 gildas
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • 16 pitted green olives
  • 16 pickled guindilla peppers see note
  • 8 oil-packed anchovies
  • 8 marinated anchovies
  • Extra virgin olive oil for serving

Instructions
 

  • On a small skewer or long toothpick, spear one green olive and slide it to the top of the skewer.
  • Fold a salt-packed anchovy in half and spear that. Push it up to meet the olive.
  • Also folding in half in necessary, spear one pepper and push it to meet the anchovy.
    Prepping the gildas
  • Follow this by skewering one marinated anchovy, another pepper and a final olive. Repeat with the remaining skewers.
  • Drizzle the gildas with high-quality extra virgin olive oil and serve.
    Spanish gildas on a plate

Video

Notes

If you can't find guindilla peppers, use any other kind of mild, picked pepper in their place.

Nutrition

Calories: 33kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 777mg | Potassium: 98mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 545IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg

Disclaimer: Nutritional information is automatically generated and provided as guidance only. Accuracy is not guaranteed.

Tried this recipe or have questions?Click here to leave a comment!

Making Spanish gildas is a great way to bring one of the Basque Country’s most iconic pintxos into your own home. Just want bite will make you feel as if you’re wandering the streets of San Sebastian or Bilbao.

Do you want to make gildas? Have any questions about this recipe? Let me know in the comments!

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Maggie is the creator behind No Frills Kitchen. She is a world traveller, home cook and recipe developer who loves to experiment with new cuisines and techniques at every chance she gets. No stranger to improvising and making do with the equipment and ingredients she has available, she is passionate about sharing her knowledge with others. Read More

Comments

  1. Hello!
    how far ahead can I make Gildas? I am bringing these to a party soon, but need to travel and arrive with them ready made. I think it should be ok if they are assembled and kept cool till ready to serve. What do you think?
    Thanks
    Eevi

    Reply
    • You can definitely make them a few hours ahead of time if you keep them covered in the fridge. I would even say that you could assemble them the night before and have no issues 🙂

      Reply
5 from 4 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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