The Gilda is a Basque bar classic: a spicy, briny skewer with alternating bits of aromatic fragrant pickled guindilla chiles, olives, and anchovies. Along with a stubby glass of Txakolí, the slightly fizzy local white, nothing quite hits the spot quite like the Gilda.
Locals know this, and consume them by the dozen. Said to be invented at a San Sebastián bar, the Gilda was named after Rita Hayworth’s spicy performance in the 1946 film of the same name. The rest was history, and now Gildas are on practically every bar counter. Though not part of the classic recipe, squares of red bell pepper lend color and crunch. Serve Gildas with sherry or a light white wine, such as the Basque Txakolí or Portuguese Vinho Verde.
- Yield: 12 Sewers
- 24 manzanilla olives (pimiento-stuffed are fine)
- 12 guindilla chiles
- 12 best-quality oil-packed anchovy fillets, drained
- 12 red bell pepper squares (each about ¾ inch)
- Thread an olive onto a skewer. Add a guindilla chile, then an anchovy folded in half or thirds, followed by a square of red pepper, finishing with another olive.
- Repeat with the rest of the skewers.