During the year of 2013-2014, I had the absolutely amazing opportunity to live in Spain. More specifically, I lived in Madrid teaching English for the year. It was one of the most courageous moves and decisions I had ever made for myself.
I was able to travel throughout Europe, experience all types of people and cultures, and to really immerse myself into a new way of life. The Spanish people have such zest for life and spend most of their days outside and surrounded by people. How could I not get captivated by a culture so eager to connect with one another? After all, that is my goal with my recipe development. To let my food help connect you with your health and more importantly to those around you.
The only challenge that I found living in Spain was that I was a vegetarian. I mean Spaniards are basically made up of Jamon Iberico (spanish cured ham). It proved daunting trying to explain to people that I didn’t eat meat. It was somewhat unheard of in their world. However, there was one staple that I knew I could order (and did order time and time again), “Pan Con Tomate.”
It is the simplest dish ever but so delicious. Somehow it felt like I had never really eaten bread and tomato before. It was like they had unlocked this special way of eating and I was lucky enough to be given a key. I feel it my obligation to share this recipe with you and let a little piece of Spain be a part of your home and heart.
- a good sized piece of your favorite baguette (it has to be a baguette, trust me!)
- fresh tomatoes, sliced thinly
- extra virgin olive oil
- coarse sea salt
Take your piece of delicious baguette and slice it down the middle horizontally. Then place it in the toaster oven to brown. When it has toasted to your liking, remove from oven and place on a plate. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil on the top of both pieces of bread. Be generous with your olive oil as this is what gives this that extra oomph.
Then place your sliced tomatoes on top of the olive oil. Finish with a sprinkle of sea salt on top of the tomatoes. Then you are ready to serve.
I suggest eating this outside and if possible, with your eyes closed picturing the cobblestone streets of Spain. If that is not connecting with you, then go ahead and just chow down. Either way works and you will be amazed at how the most simple ingredients can have the strongest flavor!