Sometimes, and more often than not, the simple things are the best. With our travels to Spain (I know you know you’ve been to Barcelona, Girona, San Sebastian and more recently Madrid), the staple on any tapas menu is tomato bread.
Seriously, it is simply bread, tomatoes and olive oil. The thing that baffles us is that we don’t do well with bread at home. And when we eat bread in Spain, and we have had copious amounts of it when we were in Spain as they serve it with every dish, we have had no problems.
What stuns us is how simple this dish is and why can’t we have it here at home. So, with my Italian friends who have graciously allowed us to participate in their sauce making event, I thought I could take a few lessons from this experience to make a tomato spread that we can enjoy like we do in Spain.
The lessons that I take away from my sauce making experience is that the tomato is enjoyed by extracting just the juice. So taking this into account, I thought when I extract the juice, I can use it in pasta and use the pulp without skin to make tomato bread.
You need to find the freshest, vine ripen tomatoes. I tried this twice with cocktail truss tomatoes then the next time with Roma tomatoes. You also need to find a nice spongy bread, like pane di casa or sour dough. I don’t know what kind of bread they use in Spain so I am trying to improvise. Oh and a tasty olive oil. Spain is renowned for their olive oil. Every drop we have tasted with our meals have been so moorish I have would have happily drank it by the cupful.
A bunch of tomatoes
Good olive oil
Sliced bread of your choosing
Wash and score (slightly) tomatoes then place them in a pot of water. Bring to boil. Once boiled, take them out of the hot water and remove the skins. Using a fine sieve, press your tomatoes through the sieve, discard skins (if you find any you have missed) and any hard bits.
The juice of the tomato will be strained into a bowl/container to be used for pasta sauce and scoop the tomato pulp into another dish. The pulp is what you would use for your tomato bread.
Once you have repeated the process with all your tomatoes, salt the tomato pulp and add olive oil to taste. In this instance the pulp is the hero of this effort.
When you are ready to make your tomato bread, prepare the bread. You can either toast your bread or pan fry it with olive oil. Once the bread is toasted or fried, if toasted, drizzle some oil onto the bread then spoon some tomato pulp onto the bread. Then drizzle some more oil on top of the tomato pulp.
If you have fried your bread, spoon some pulp onto the bread and again drizzle some oil on top of the pulp. My goodness, seriously, it is so simple and so delectable at the same time! I for one am addicted and will make some more until I am told to stop!