WHAT I LEARNED FROM THE CATALONIANS
For the last five years, I’ve provided childcare for a family whose father is from the Catalan region of Spain. The whole family migrates to Spain for a month each summer, and the kids take for granted many Spanish traditions, including culinary ones. The first fall I worked for them, I was clueless when the kids asked for food. I would ask them what they wanted for breakfast, for example, and 4-year-old Eva would tell me she wanted me to squeeze a tomato onto bread. I kind of got the tomato and the bread, but the squeezing seemed weird. And when I tried to make what she wanted, Eva told me it was all wrong.
So here is the true and right way to make this breakfast (or bread accompaniment, or appetizer), which I always think of as raw bruschetta. Online it’s labeled Pa amb Tomaquet and identified as the “national comfort food” of Catalonia.
Cut or break a baguette, white or whole wheat, into 4-6” sections; then halve them. You can toast them if you want to. Cut a couple of small juicy tomatoes in half and squeeze and spread tomato guts onto each bread. This makes them kind of pink. If you toasted the bread, you can also squash a couple of garlic cloves and smear these across the bread. Pour and spread about a teaspoon of good olive oil across each bread. Finish tops with good ground salt.
Nice summer fare, and it makes you feel so cosmopolitan! It's easy; Eva says, "Just do it!"