Pa amb tomàquet is basically bruschetta Barcelona-style! This is not only one of the most delicious foods imaginable, but also one of the easiest and cheapest to make.
- Good White Bread, unsliced. Anything from a bakery or the deli counter of a supermarket will do (i.e. anything but pre-sliced Wonder bread equivalent). Ideally something crusty and with a fairly open grain. Focaccio, Ciabatta, or whatever you have.
- Garlic. Whole cloves, preferably fairly fresh. Peel and cut off the stem end.
- Tomatoes. Any kind will do, but they need to be ripe. Halve the tomatoes if small, or cut into wedges if large.
- Coarse salt – e.g. kosher salt. Hand gathered lightly killed artisanal fleur du sel if you must.
- Olive oil. The best you have. Extra virgin is preferable, but if all you have on hand is basic canola it will be fine.
Slice your bread about an inch or so/2-3 cm thick and toast it in your broiler or on a grill. The aim is to create a nice toasty colour and a firm (hard) crust that will stand up to the application of garlic in step 2. Watch your bread like a hawk – the difference between underdone and burned is a matter of seconds. Let the bread cool a bit.
Take a clove of garlic and scrape it repeatedly over the toasted surface of the bread. Your love of garlic will determine how much you want to add, but don’t be shy!
Next, rub a tomato piece over the toasted surface. The aim is to soak the bread with tomato juice and flesh.
Sprinkle with salt and drizzle with oil.
This example was made with cherry tomatoes, so it’s not as red as if we had a ripe beefsteak. It was still delicious.