Bread. Tomato. Olive Oil.

To me, one of the most comforting things about Barcelona was the fact that they served Pan con Tomate everywhere. And many times, it is complimentary! It is so simple – crusty toasted bread, fresh crushed tomatoes, good extra virgin olive oil, and salt. I decided to conceptualize a technique while I was there, being highly inspired and eating it a few times a day (yes, my waistline was not pleased but as the millenials would say YOLO). Ever since, the quick snack has been a staple in our household. I serve it up for merianda for my girls, or even as an accompaniment to jamon and cheese when I entertain.

Because this is such a simple dish, it will only work well if you get the best ingredients. Don’t scrimp on the quality.

I took advantage of the gorgeous tomatoes – the summer harvest brought on so many varieties that I had to ask the lady selling it to help me choose the best one. For this recipe I chose to use the tomate rama, and I got the ones that were bordering on becoming overripe because they are the sweetest of the bunch.

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Here are the main ingredients:

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First step is to turn on the oven. I like using an oven when I am making for a crowd, but a toaster will work just fine for a small portion. Just make sure it is on a high setting to get the bread very crisp.

For the bread, I prefer something sliced a little thin so that it is not so hard to crunch in to. Here I used simple French bread, but at home I find myself using a good sourdough. Slice to your desired size and brush a little bit of the olive oil before placing in the oven.

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For the tomatoes, I crush mine by hand. You can use a large grater as well, but I don’t mind getting my hands dirty.

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To assemble, spread a spoon full of the crushed tomato on to the bread while it is fresh from the oven so it can soak up the juices and semi cook the tomatoes. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve immediately.

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My Summer Picnic – Pan con Tomate, Chorizo, Fresh Peaches and Raspberries, Corn Chips, and Almond Pound Cake

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