Tapa of the week – Habitas con Jamon

habitas con jamon

High up in the tapas hierachy, this dish can come at a heavy price considering the fact that you are just getting a plate of broad beans and a few off-cuts of ham: 9 to 15 euros sounds about right, depending on just how smart the establishment is. But you have to bear in mind that these are not just any ordinary broad beans – these are baby broad beans, plucked from the pod long before they reach maturity. Picking the beans when they are still the size of your finger nail (rather than half your thumb) means they are twice as tasty, and combined with snippets of top quality jamon and virgin olive oil, you have one of the finest delicacies on the Spanish tapas scene.

Bread is essential for mopping up with afterwards, along with a nice glass of chilled Rueda white to wash it all down of course. If you still think the dish is overpriced, bear in mind that a tin of the baby beans, or habitas, will set you back around 5 euros alone from food shops smart enough to sell them… compared with less than a euro for Heinz baked beans at the supermercado!

Thanks to Gary and all those that suggested the Tapa of the week series.

13 thoughts on “Tapa of the week – Habitas con Jamon

  1. Gary

    Great – finally the mysteries of the tapa selection will slowly become unlocked
    thanks to Ben, as long as I can avoid the ones containing ears and private parts I’ll be more than happy – looking forward to trying these dishes in person even at a tenner a dish!!!

  2. Esperanza

    Just wondering where you have eaten this tapa? It sounds great and since I am off to Madrid this week I would love to try it.

  3. Ben Post author

    As hard as we can think nowhere pops to mind just yet. As soon as we remember a place I’ll let you know, but if you keep your eyes open you’ll soon find them them. Actually I think you can get them in Hylogui, which, although it isn’t a tapas bar, is a great place for lunch anyway: http://tinyurl.com/2lo2kv

  4. Skip

    Ben and Marina,
    I’m very excited about this new segment! Spanish cooking has been one of my quest… Tapa’s in particular. So, look forward to some great tapas in the future!

    One of my favorites I had at a resturaunt outside my apt in Stockholm (Judging by the Big Spanish Guy behind the Bar, it was a very authenic spanish place – I think ๐Ÿ˜Ž ?? ), anyway I had this tuna stuffed tomatoes… in a small ceramic dish. I’ve scoured the internet and tried a few similar recipe’s but I’ve never been able to replicate that great dish.

    Austin, TX

  5. Marina

    I’ve just emembered one of the places where we’ve had them. It is a very small place called “La Tasquita” in the corner of C/ Valderribas and C/ Juan de Urbieta. It might be difficult to get hold of a table there, so searching the Internet I’ve read that they are delicious in “La Castela” C/ Doctor Castelo, 22 (very near the top right corner of the Retiro park). Although I’ve been in this pretty old style tasca a couple of times I’ve never tasted their habitas.

  6. Pat

    I like the look of those broad beans. I’ve been making a fresh broad bean salad based on one I sampled at a tapas bar here in Melbourne, Australia. (You can find photo and my recipe here: http://www.cookingdownunder.com/articles/2006/249.htm ) It’s worth the double handling – podding the beans then taking the skins off after cooking.
    But what I really want to know is what has happened to the Cooking from Spain podcasts? There haven’t been any for a couple of months and I did enjoy listening to them.

  7. Edith

    This tapa sounds like a great idea for a main dish too! ๐Ÿ™‚ Since those baby broad beans aren’t available here I’ll settle for the next best thing: ordinary broad beans from the supermarket and jamón serrano.

  8. Marina

    Don’t worry Pat we are planning to restart the Cuisine podcasts very soon.

    I had a look at your beans recipie and sounds delicious I have to give it a try. Your site is very nice and the pictures are great. I will be coming back for more recipes soon!

  9. Marina

    Sorry Skip, I had missed your post.

    I’m very glad that you like this new section.
    I guess they were “Tomates Rellenos”, however I’ve only seen this dish as a starter more that as a tapa. Maybe they used the same recipe with smaller tomatos;-)

    If you like we can do this tapa as a post shortly.

  10. greytop

    Bought the beans (รขโ€šยฌ2 in Mercadona – ready shelled). Looking forward to lunch & they’re all mine as my wife doesn’t like them ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks M.

  11. Pat

    Glad the Cuisine podcasts will be starting again. It will soon be winter here and we need to hear about sunny Spanish food!

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