Enjoy while it lasts, I somewhat “rested” this week, far from my typical recipes with unusual ingredients and techniques. I have been traveling a lot for work lately and I did not have much time to plan and execute an elaborate recipe this week.
I spotted this very easy recipe (some people, including me, would even say simplistic recipe) a few months ago and I set it aside just in case…
This week, I am taking you to Andorra. Andorra is a relatively small principality whose co-princes are the Bishop of Urgell, and the French President.
So, similarly to most tiny islands and nations we regularly travel to, I thought it would be quite difficult to find recipes typical to this Pyrenean enclave between France and Spain.
In fact, as I learned about the cuisine of the country, I quickly realized that the culinary traditions are almost all influenced by the Catalan culture. The official language of Andorra happens to be Catalan.
The list of ingredients for the pa amb tomàquet (bread and tomato in Catalan) is ridiculously simple: bread, tomato, garlic, oil and salt.
Pa amb tomàquet is a recipe from the Catalan region, but you can also find it in Aragon, Valencia and Mallorca. This basic recipe is obviously not a dish in itself but is usually served with local sausages, ham, cheese, grilled vegetables (escalivada, which is the Catalan version of antipasti), anchovies or marinated fish like boquerones.
Pa amb tomàquet will obviously remind you of the Italian bruschetta even if it is not prepared in the same manner. There are also very similar versions in Malta (Ħobż tal-Malti) and Crete (dakos), this latter variant uses paximadi that is typically topped with feta.
I made this recipe in 5 minutes. It never happened to me since the beginning of 196 flavors. And in the end, everyone loved this little snack before we had our evening meal, including our youngest son Liram who is 8 months old. Definitely a change from his tasteless baby food!
Last recommendation: do not forget to plan for a pack of gum at the end of the tasting!
- Rustic bread (or baguette)
- 2 garlic cloves , halved
- 3 tomatoes (ripe)
- Extra virgin olive oil
Cut the bread into slices of about ½ inch.
Toast the bread in a toaster or under the broiler at 400 F for a few minutes.
Rub garlic on bread.
Cut tomatoes in halves. Rub onto bread slices.
Drizzle olive oil over bread. Salt to taste.
Enjoy on the spot with a good glass of wine... from Catalonia course.