Round One: Spain.

Summer is for prosciutto. It’s also for the World Cup. I think that the prospect of eating prosciutto for dinner got me back into the blogging game after my week-long hiatus from World Cup cuisine. I could say that I faked an injury, or that the referees made me go on a cooking strike, but in real life, I just got busy. And lazy.

I think that I’ve come across a recipe that will snap even the laziest of us out of a funk. My very tall and very talented co-worker used to live in Spain (he played professional basketball in Barcelona, in fact) and was an extremely helpful source for the the Spanish part of this quest. I asked him for something that wouldn’t make my house hot, and he gave me a recipe for pa amb tomaquet or “bread with tomato.”

I’m telling you, people, it’s hot here. Almost too hot to eat. Too hot to drink. And this recipe respects that heat. The oven turns on, but only to toast some bread. (I was done with it way before the oven alerted me that it had been fully preheated.) The rest of the recipe requires very little work, so those oppressed by the humidity don’t have to waste extra energy. I didn’t even have to measure. I’m going to stop talking about the recipe and just give it to you. (I did add an extra step to the end, one that makes it just a tiny bit better.)

Pa amb Tomaquet
by Norman Carmichael

country style sourdough bread, sliced into 1/3 inch slices
fresh ripe tomatoes (preferably Roma) cut in half
extra virgin olive oil
garlic clove, cut crosswise
sea salt
prosciutto or Serrano ham (optional)

Toast bread moderately on both sides. Rub toasted bread with cut side of garlic. Drizzle generous amount of oil on one side of each slice. Rub tomato onto slices, squeezing to extract pulp, about one or two tomato halves per slice. Sprinkle with salt. Top with prosciutto. Eat, then take a nap.

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