Sunday, 6 November 2011

Pa Amb Tomaquet for Toddlers and Adults

If you're not familiar with the name, let me explain.  This would be lofty to call this a 'dish' but it's kind of a way of serving bread in Catalonia (Spain) which is absolutely delicious and fantastic with good Spanish ham or cured meats.

This is typical of Spanish cooking.  Take good bread, good tomatoes, good olive oil and make something which elevates all of them.

There's no reason not to give this to your toddler, just leave the salt out and it's fairly similar to a garlic / tomato bread which is the kind of stuff my toddler loves.  Oh and you must have good bread.  I'm lucky that I have a friend who made some sourdough bread yesterday and this is the kind of dish for using up slightly stale bread and sourdough has that fantastically chewy crust.  Before the days of using enzymes, preservatives and improvers in bread, there were hundreds of recipes around the world for using stale bread because bread would stale quickly.  These thrifty dishes are generally pretty good in their own right.

If I have any bread left over, I think this one is getting frozen as breadcrumbs.  Imagine chicken nuggets made with sourdough bread!  Or is that just taking the 'junk recipe made with good ingredients' just a bit too far?

I wish I had the time to devote to a sour.  Maybe as my son grows up a little I will but treating a pot of yeasty goodness like an additional child feels a bit wrong when my son is still so little!

Pa Amb Tomaquet (tomato bread) - serves 1 adult, easily increased


Some good bread
1 ripe tomato
2 tsp of good quality extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled
Coarse sea salt (miss out for toddlers or babies)


Slice two slices of bread per adult.

Take the garlic and gently rub over the bread slices.  It might seem strange but it does give a subtle garlic flavour.

You can serve this completely cold but I like to take the slices of bread and put them into a dry pan and toast quickly either side over a high heat.

Take off the heat, slice the tomato in half and squeeze and rub over the bread slices.  Pour a tsp of olive oil over each slice and top with a sprinkling of salt (if using).

Eat on its own (ideal with some good Estrella Dam if you're an adult) or you could even use to make possibly the best sandwich in the world with some Spanish Serrano ham.  Delicious.

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