Adapted from "Patricia Wells at Home in Provence," by Patricia Wells (Scribner, 1996).
Anne McCrae, Well's neighbor in Provence, developed this appetizer to serve in individual crocks at the table. Wells takes a less formal appraoch and recommends putting the gratin in one large dish to pass around and spread on thin slices of toasted baguette. This gratin makes a quick and easy hors d'oeuvre to serve at home or bring to a party.
10 ounces soft, rindless goat cheese, cubed. 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary leaves. 2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano leaves. 1 1/2 to 2 cups homemade tomato sauce, room temperature (recipe follows). 2 dozen black French olives (such as Nyons), pitted and halved.
Preheat the broiler. Scatter the goat cheese on the bottom of a 10 1/2-inch round baking dish. Sprinkle with half the herbs. Spoon on jut enough tomato sauce to evenly coat the cheese. Sprinkle with the olives and remaining herbs. Place the baking dish under the broiler about 3 inches from the heat. Broil until the cheese is melted and fragrant and the tomato sauce us sizzling, about 2 to 3 minutes. Serves 6.