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catalan sun toast

Catalan Sun Toast: Pa Amb Tomàquet – A Healthy Side Dish

catalan sun toast

One month to go until my thesis deadline! (Oh la la!) But I took a writing break and spent last week in a sunny and relaxing place in Catalan, 40 kilometers south of Barcelona. Catalan cuisine has many influences from Spanish, French, Italian and Arabic cooking.  Here is one specialty of Catalan called ‘Pa amb tomàquet’ -toasted bread with tomato, garlic, olive oil and topped with sea salt. It reminds me of Bruschetta, one of my favorite Italian antipasti.

Pa Amb Tomàquet: Sun Toast To Enjoy All Year Round


catalan sun toast

Catalonia is a gorgeous area located on the North East part of Spain. Although Catalonia is part of Spain, its culture, cuisine and language are distinct. Its people form a proud region and with its beautiful sunny weather and beaches. the welcoming people and delicious cuisine, Catalonia is one of the tourist hot spots in Europe. Barcelona is the major city in Catalonia; I have had the luck to visit this unique city and highly recommend a visit on your tourist ‘bucket list.’

The first time I tried ‘Pa amb tomàquet’ (toasted Catalonia sun bread as I call it!) was in a small bistro in Barcelona, sitting outside in the warm sunny air. We ordered a plate of this toast, along with a plate of local hams and cheeses. My kids were hooked on this bread. Quickly it was devoured and a second order was placed. Por Favor-more sun toast!

This Catalonia specialty toast is a very (like super high on the list) healthy food. Olive oil, smushed tomatoes and garlic are laid down on fresh toasted bread. I didn’t mind that my kids over indulge on this sun toast side dish – how can eating a lot of olive oil, garlic and tomatoes be bad for kids? Claro que no! And kids love the taste of this sun toast, as long as the garlic isn’t too strong.

During our last week in the campground in Vilanova Park I recreated this sun toast, using local bread, olive oil, garlic, tomatoes and salt. I consider this toast a side dish or you can use it for part of lunch or appetizer or even as a snack. There is no reason for feel ‘guilty’ by overeating ‘Pa amb tomàquet’, because I promise you, they are healthy!

Here is how to make your own.

How to Make Catalan Sun Toast-Pa Amb Tomàquet

Ingredients: (for 2 persons)

  • 4 pieces of country style bread
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 medium size tomato
  • A big dash of extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt

Method:

  1. Use a good quality sliced country style bread. (not industrial soft white bread)catalan sun toast
  2. Peel and slice in half one garlic clove and chop one tomato into diced small squares.
  3. Toast the bread. catalan sun toast
  4. As soon as the bread is toasted and is hot, rub the half garlic clove into the toast.catalan sun toast
  5. Top toast with small amount of extra virgin olive oil and diced tomatoes. Smush the tomatoes into toast with a fork. catalan sun toast
  6. Sprinkle small dash of sea salt on top of toast and serve immediately. catalan sun toast

I love the taste of these sun toasts. The mix of tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, salt is just yum. If you or your family do not like tomatoes, you can adapt this recipe to make only olive oil and garlic bread, sans tomatoes. The choice is up to you!

And….

If you like Catalan cuisine and want to know more, see these links to webpages to open your cooking (and taste) arena for more ‘sunny’ food.

Next time I will introduce you to Salsa Jurvert, the Catalonia Salsa Verde, a sauce made from oil, parsley and garlic. This salsa is a ideal accompaniment for your next barbeque. Keep in touch!

And please continue to tune in on the blog for more ways that you can move to ‘happiness’ with the simple pleasures of a meal or drink, prepared or served with flavor, taste and presentation at the forefront. Simple dishes, simple ideas, simple tricks to bring taste and appreciation.

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Thanks for your support. Warmly, Mary

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2 Responses to Catalan Sun Toast: Pa Amb Tomàquet – A Healthy Side Dish

  1. Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine April 28, 2015 at 16:45 #

    What a lovely appetizer toast! Yum!

  2. Bala April 28, 2015 at 16:42 #

    Mary,
    I enjoy the simple yet satisfying flavor of this dish. The one slight variation with which I’ve had this involves generously rubbing the crusty toasty bread with the cut-side of a fresh tomato, after the garlic rub and before the olive oil drizzle. I am yet to try this dish sitting in Spain and using Spanish tomatoes though!
    Enjoy!
    Bala

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