I have to tell you about this amazing snack that you eat in Catalunya all the time. A Catalan meal is unimaginable without a slice of bread rubbed with a tomato half and drizzled with good fruity olive oil. It is served in Spain as a breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It is called pan tostado con tomate or pa amb tomaquet and has almost achieved the status of a Catalan national dish.
Sometimes it is topped with anchovies, cheese or ham, so feel free to add this to the bread if you like.
Catalan Tomato Bread
(The New Spanish Table)
1 piece (9 to 10 inches long and at least 2 inches in diameter
dense, chewy baguette, cut in half lengthwise
Fragrant extra-virgin olive oil
2 fat garlic cloves (optional), cut in half
1 large ripe but firm tomato, cut in half crosswise
Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
1. Light the grill and preheat it to medium or preheat the broiler.
2. Brush the cut side of each baguette half very lighly with olive oil and rub it with garlic, if using.
Grill or broil the bread until golden, about 45 seconds, watching out that it doesn't burn around the edges.
3. When the bread is just cool enough to handle, rub the cut side of each half with the cut side of a tomato half, pressing down on the tomato to extract some of the pulp. Drizzle more olive oil over the bread and sprinkle it with salt. Cut each baguette in half on the diagonal into roughly 1 1/4 inch pieces and serve at once.
CHOCOLATE TOSTADA WITH OLIVE OIL AND SALT
Catalan people love to mix sweet and salty flavors. I do too, and when I first tasted this incredible bread I was in chocolate heaven. Combining bread, melted dark chocolate, salt, and olive oil is a Catalan tradition and is fun and unusual.
Try it and see for yourself why the combination of these flavors is so irresistible. Serve it for breakfast, tea, or as a dessert
Chocolate Tostada with Olive Oil and Flaky Salt
Tostada de chocolate con aceite de olivia
(The New Spanish Table)
serves 4 - 6
5 to 6 ounces best-quality bittersweet chocolate (at least 70 % cacao), grated
1 piece (9 to 10 inces long and least 2 inches in diameter) dense, chewy baguette, cut in half lenghtwise
fragrant extra-virgin olive oil
Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
1. Preheat the broiler.
2. Place the chocolate in the top of a double boiler and melt it over simmering water. (or do it in the microwave.
3. Brush the cut side of each baguette half very lightly with olive oil. Broil the bread until golden, watching out that it doesn't burn around the edges. (Alternatively, you can toast the bread.)
4. Spread the cut side of each baguette half with the melted chocolate, drizzle a little olive oil over the chocolate, and judiciously sprinkle it with salt. Cut each baguette half on the diagonal into roughly 1 1/4 inch pieces and serve at once.