It is always a delight to have this classic and simple tapa, for breakfast, informal lunch or dinner or in between meals. It is healthy and tasty and you can make a perfect sharing board with other cured meats, cheese, olives and some almonds.
The key to making this tapa “perfect” is the sauce. You have to get ripe tomatoes, so you can get all the flavours and aromas from it, and season with good extra virgin olive oil.
This sauce is called “pan con tomate” (bread with tomato) or pa amb tomàquet in Catalan language.
According to the food historian Nestor Lujan, the first reference to this dish was in 1884 and it seems, from his thesis, that the recipe comes from the rural world during an abundant tomato harvest. Farmers used to rub the stale bread with tomato to soften it. Anyway, many great dishes in the food History have their origins in mistakes. Or like in this case, for an excess of productions that had to be used!
Ingredients for 8 tapas
8 slices of artisan sourdough bread
8 slices of jamon serrano (or jamon iberico)
2 or 3 tomatoes on the vine
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1.- First, prepare the tomato sauce: cut a shallow crosshatch at one end then scald in boiling water for 45 seconds. Transfer to a bowl filled with ice water and cool to the touch.
2.- Peel the tomatoes from the crosshatch, remove the seeds and put them in a blender.
Blend until they are finely chopped. Season with salt and extra virgin olive oil and mix well. Keep it in the fridge until you are ready to assemble the tapas.
3.- Slice the bread and lightly toast.
4.- Spread a teaspoon of the tomato over the bread and set a slice of jamon serrano or Iberico if you prefer.
5.- Enjoy this simple, classic and tasty tapa!