Tapas, the Little Dishes of Spain by Penelope Casas (Alfred A. Knopf: $22.95 hardcover; $12.95 soft cover, 219 pp., illustrated).

How timely, now that so-called "grazing" is in, that a book on tapas should appear. Tapas are a way of life in Spain, and the little nibble foods before dinner are as awesome in their variety as any aficionado might hope for or even imagine.

The categories in the book deal with tapas in a sauce, pates, salads, tapas made with bread and tapas requiring some last-minute preparation. Luckily, the range of tapas recipes given makes it possible for any cook, whether accomplished or novice, to make use of the book.

There are marinated mushrooms made with tomato sauce and saffron, a carrot salad, shrimp tartlets, anchovy toast, cherry tomatoes filled with tuna, and dozens of others for the cook looking for an easy way out. Pates, timbales, savory puff pastries, Spanish omelets called tortilla a la Espanola would appeal to most any seasoned cook.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World