We introduced the boys to tapas recently. Hilarity ensued.
I'm in the kitchen roasting garlic, slicing a baguette, grilling sausages and filling platters full of sun dried tomatoes, vegetables, olives, funky cheeses, hummus and such, when the smells draws the boys in from the living room.
"What's for dinner?" they ask.
"Tapas," I say, to confused looks all around.
"We're having toppings for dinner?"
So I go about trying to explain the Spanish concept of dining on a variety of little plates of food instead one big entree.
It took a few minutes to sink in, but once it did - "You mean these appetizers ARE dinner?!" - they decided those Spaniards are pretty smart peeps.
So we set the table and dug in with both hands.
Everything was delicious, but the highlight of the evening was a sensational yet simple creation inspired by one of my favorite tapas restaurants, Sangria, in Sarasota, Fla. I always marvel at how good this dish is, yet how easy it is to make.
Just take a small shallow baking dish or glass/ceramic pie pan and fill it with your favorite marinara sauce, homemade or store-bought, to at least a half-inch deep. Then take a log of garlic-herb goat cheese and scatter slices or dollops of it over the tomato sauce. Now sprinkle on a handful of pitted Kalamata olives and the leaves from a twig of fresh rosemary.
Got that? It's just marinara sprinkled with herbed goat cheese, pitted Greek olives and fresh rosemary. Now bake the dish in a hot oven until warm and bubbly. Serve immediately with crackers or bread.