Red bell peppersI was in Spain two weeks ago. My first meal in Madrid, as it always is, was at a little tapas restaurant on the Plaza de Santa Ana. Sitting on the plaza, basking in warmth of toasty heat lamps, I was immediately reminded why I adore Spanish cooking. Elegant and rustic, powerful and nuanced, traditional Spanish dishes like this roasted pepper and goat cheese tapas are soulfully satisfying. And shockingly easy to make at home!

Let’s get cooking!

The Prep

Slice a baguette into half-inch thick disks. Brush each disk with olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Toast in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Your bread rounds should be crispy and golden, but not dark. Jarred roasted red peppers work exceptionally well, but you can also easily roast peppers yourself. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Wash and slice 2 or 3 red peppers lengthwise in half. Remove and discard the stems, seeds and membranes. Place the peppers cut side down on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the peppers are soft and slightly charred. Remove from the oven and cool the cooked peppers in a closed paper bag for about 10 minutes. With your fingers, gently peel the skins off the peppers. Whether you use jarred or fresh roasted peppers, slice into 1-inch thick strips. You are mised out!

The Assembly

Place the toasted bread rounds on a serving plate. On each bread round, place a dollop of chèvre. [NOTE: if you don’t care for chèvre, ricotta is a suitable substitute.] Place one or two strips of red pepper on top of the cheese. Drizzle a bit of honey over the roasted pepper strips.

The Payoff

This dish is particularly good as an appetizer for parties and can sit at room temperature for several hours. Enjoy!