I've just come back from Barcelona, and I loved this little thing that my parents had hanging in their kitchen. It's a string of red, juicy tomatoes, special for the bread, for squeezing them on the bread that is! The label said that these tomatoes are planted by the sea and water with sea water. I found this a lovely way to keep our culinary traditions.
So here is the proper way for the "Pa amb tomaquet" or Bread and tomato. the catalan way:
Good quality ipe tomatoes
Extra virgin olive oil
One garlic clove (optional)
You first provide yourself with a good quality white crusty bread, then get a thick slice and toast it (in the oven is better) after that and depending on your taste you can grab a clove of garlic and rub it hard onto the slice. Now, time for the tomato, grad a ripe, juicy one, and cut it in half, then squeeze it and rub on top of the bread. If the tomato is a good one you will only have the skin at the end of the process. After this, you just need the final touch....but the most important, the Liquid Gold. Yes. you guessed it, olive oil. Don't be tight fisted and invest in a very good quality olive oil, extra virgin will do, I only use Spanish one (of course) but any will do, the greek one is really good as well as the italian. If you have guests this is a funny way of interacting with the food. Then you just have to arrange a nice platter with whatever you have in the fridge, cured meats, olives, chesses, etc...
This slice of bread is heavenly as it is, on its own, but if you cover it with some cheese, or serrano ham, or chorizo your palate will be pleased...
You won't be dissapointed and your guests will love this explosion of colour and taste at your table. Enjoy the squeezing!