I love tapas. Given the choice between them and a 3-course meal, nurse I’ll always choose the tapas. Why eat just 3 things when you can eat 20? This Saturday, instead of a complicated dinner, we had tapas.
Some of my favorites are cured meats, cheeses, chorizo simmered in cider, hummus and pita brea, Spanish Omelettes, and Garlicky Thyme White Beans on bread. I usually make these beans because they’re easy, delicious and always a hit. Just stir white beans with olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, thyme, salt and pepper. Spoon them over bread and you’ve got a great little hors d’oeuvres or a nice tapa.
I was also lucky to receive some Pomegranate juice from the good folks at POM Wonderful. Since I love anything pomegranate and anything to do with red wine, I made Sangria. The perfect accompaniment to tapas and a great way to kick off Spring.
Sangria is usually made from red wine, brandy, fruit juice, simple syrup, seltzer and fruit. There are tons of great variations, including a white wine, pear one that my mom makes. I used cognac, POM juice and white grapes in my version. I loved the way the pomegranate and wine complimented each other, and the cognac adds just the right amount of booziness.
Sangria and Tapas are my favorite kind of party food. Tapas are tasty, filling and less work than a 3-course meal, Sangria is always a crowd-pleaser and this pomegranate version is really unique.
1 – 2 cups halved white grapes
3/4 cup cognac
1 bottle, red wine (We used a Syrah)
2 cups Pomegranate Juice (I used POM)
4 tbsp. honey
1 cup seltzer
2 cups ice
Place the halved grapes in the bottom of your biggest pitcher (or 2 smaller ones), then add the cognac. Using a wooden spoon, mix the cognac into the grapes, then pour in the red wine, honey and pomegranate juice and give everything a good stir.
If you have some time before you want to drink it, chill in the fridge for a couple of hours. If not, add the seltzer and ice immediately.
Serve in your favorite wine glasses.
Makes about 12 glasses sangria.
Garlicky Thyme White Beans
Though I suggest you serve these with bread, they’d also be great tossed with some spaghetti.
1 15. oz. can of Canellini beans, drained and rinsed
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 heaping tsp. fresh thyme leaves
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
freshly ground pepper
1 baguette, cut into slices
Toss all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix until combined. Serve with the sliced baguette and spoon onto bread to enjoy.
Makes enough for 4 people.