Fantastic snack that children love as well as adults and one hundred per cent goodness.
Pan con tomate/ Pa amb tomaquet (Tomato bread)
This is so so simple, so tasty, and a fabulous, totally healthy snack that you can have on-the-go in the fridge all the time – a favourite with fridge-raiding children as well as all adults. It is a mainstay of our meals.
Clove of garlic*
Fresh, quality extra virgin olive oil (click here)
Tomatoes, sweet, juicy (not firm salad variety)
Fairly dense or dry bread (ciabatta for example)
Our Catalan friends use a pa de pages (country-style round loaf) as it is firm. If not you can use any bread or a ‘French’ style stick lightly toasted first. Friend Cristina told me it was often made as a way to use up slightly dry bread, especially when food was scarce. In the heat here bread dries out fast, but need not go to waste.
Using a clove of garlic* cut in half length ways, rub the juicy side over the bread first. Cut a red-ripe tomato through its middle and use one half at a time to rub into the bread. Here they grow a special variety of tomato which has a very thin skin and is sweet and perfect for this.
Drizzle your best olive oil over the bread and season with ground sea salt and black pepper. Seasoning is optional, depending on personal taste and the freshness and quality of your extra virgin olive oil.
We use a quick way to make this in volume, ideal if you need to do quite a lot in one go, or to have a small bowl ready and waiting in the fridge for snack attacks. It will keep for several days. And, yes, children love this 100 per cent healthy, natural snack.
Crush a clove of garlic* into the bowl. Cut several tomatoes through the middle and use the course side of a grater to grate the inner flesh into the bowl, discarding the skins and any stalk and core. Season and add about a third olive oil to the quantity of tomato/garlic mixture. Whisk the ingredients together and then spoon a little on to the sliced bread, spreading and pushing it in with the back of the spoon or a knife.
*This could be made without the garlic, or less or more according to your preference.
Pa amb tomaquet is delicious just on its own or served with a meal. But it is also a great base for tapas, rolls, sandwiches, adding slices of cheese, ham, chorizo, tortilla, roasted vegetables etc, and a much tastier, healthier option to butter or margarine.
Easypeasy – TRY IT! (And let us know what you and/or children think of it.)
NB Where possible I will try and use the Spanish and Catalan names as well as the English translation.