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Salt Yard restaurant's Spanish Empanadillas

by Sarah Randell

Opera Tavern, one of the Salt Yard Group restaurants, is a favourite London tapas bar of mine, so I was really excited to get my hands on the new Salt Yard cookery book, full of Spanish and Italian nibbles, as well as more substantial recipes from executive chef Ben Tish and his team.

We made both the crab and the ricotta empanadillas (below) in the test kitchen, devouring the delicious morsels hot from the oven.

The puddings really caught my eye, too; the honey cheesecake, sweet lemon doughnuts and bruléed rice pudding are all on my must-make list. Can't wait for the book launch so I can sample some!

What's your favourite tapas dish? Tell us in the comments box below.

We have three Salt Yard cookery books to give away. For your chance to win, find the answer to this question on the Salt Yard Group website:

Salt Yard and Opera Tavern are both restaurants in the Salt Yard Group; can you name the other restaurant?

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Empanadillas are a great way of using up leftover meat or fish. No need to make your own puff pastry: shop-bought is fine.

Makes 12

plain flour, for dusting
400g good-quality shop-bought puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
a filling of your choice (see below)

1 Preheat the oven to 180˚C, fan 160°C, gas 4.

2 Sprinkle some flour over a clean work surface and roll out the pastry to a thickness of 3mm.

3 Cut out discs from the pastry about 12cm in diameter and transfer them to a floured tray. Repeat with the leftover pastry to make 12 discs. Transfer to the fridge to chill.

4 Prepare the filling of your choice (see below).

5 Remove the chilled pastry from the fridge and put a heaped teaspoon of your chosen filling into the centre of each disc, leaving a clean 2cm border around the edge.

6 Brush some beaten egg over one half of the pastry border and pull the other half over the top of the filling to meet the egg-washed side, making a half-moon shape.

7 Gently press the pastry edges together to seal. Crimp the sealed edge with a fork, brush all over with the remaining egg wash and chill for at least 15 minutes.

8 Bake the empanadillas on a floured nonstick baking tray for 15-20 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is piping hot. Serve immediately.


Filling for 12 empanadillas

50g fresh brown crabmeat
140g fresh white crabmeat
1 small red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
8 mint leaves, finely shredded
juice and zest of ½ lemon

1 Put the brown crabmeat in a sieve and leave for 20 minutes to drain any excess liquid.
2 Put the white crabmeat in a bowl and mix in the brown crabmeat.
3 Stir in the chilli, mint leaves, lemon juice and zest; season. Chill for 20 minutes before use.


Filling for 12 empanadillas

120g sheep or buffalo ricotta
50g frozen peas, defrosted
10 fresh mint leaves, roughly shredded
a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
zest of ¼ lemon

1 Mix all the ingredients together and check the seasoning.

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