crusty rustic bread
extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 180° C.
- Slice the bread and place it on a baking sheet; Put the tray in the oven and let the bread lightly toast for about 5 minutes, or until it’s slightly crisped on the top and golden; then take it out of the oven. You can also toast it in a toaster until it gets crispy.
- Then rub the tomato halves on the top of the toasted bread.
- Sprinkle with salt and drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil; then serve immediately while it’s still warm.
- Take your bread and toast it, either in a toaster or oven.
- Cut the tomatoes in half. Place a grater over a large mixing bowl. Grate the tomatoes until the flesh is gone. Discard the skin.
- Whisk the olive oil into the bowl. Season it with salt.
- Then put the tomato-oil mixture on the toast. Drizzle with little more olive oil on the top
Bread, tomatoes, olive oil and salt….For a Catalan, good food starts and ends there. You need nothing else to make “pa amb tomàquet”, the regions favorite breakfast, tapa, lunch and late-night supper. It’s a loved after-school snack for Catalan children, and a dish filled with nostalgia for Catalans who are far from home. A proper “pa amb tomàquet” could hardly be simpler if the ingredients are superb: dense, rustic, one-day-old bread, vine-ripe tomatoes, some pungent extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. In the old days, every farm had these basics in hand, if little else—the tomatoes from the garden, the homemade bread, and the olive oil produced on the property. The dish is served accompanied with any sorts of sausages (cured botifarres, xoriço, fuet, Iberic ham, etc.), ham, cheeses, omelettes, anchovies or other marinated fish, or grilled vegetables like Escalivada. The original recipe is made with toasted slices of “pa de pagès” (‘peasants’ bread’), a typical round piece of wheat bread of a fair size (from ½ kg to 5 kg, from some 20 cm to 50 cm in diameter).
If you love garlic, I have a good tip for you: while the bread is still hot, and before rubbing the tomatoes, lightly rub the garlic cloves on the bread. And then immediately add the tomatoes, salt and oil. It will give an extra nice taste!