If you have in your refrigerator ham, real cheese, or anchovies I have the perfect bread base for you. To make this exquisite Catalan pa amb tomàquet, you will need shepherd’s bread, pulpy tomatoes, olive oil and salt. If you find decent French baguette, even better. Here I'm using pa de valls. It's shepherd's bread or pa de pagès, made in a small town called Valls, some two hours away from Barcelona. But you can easily find shepherd's bread in the supermarket.
When I go home to visit my folks in California, I have the hardest time finding tomatoes that resemble tomàquets de penjar. These are small, succulent tomatoes strung together and hung in a cool dry place for longer conservation, and used to sucar bread (sucar in this case refers to moistening the bread as opposed to dipping).
In place of these, I use cherry tomatoes or small ripe tomatoes I might find appropriate to rub and squeeze on to bread. Cherry tomatoes are a bit acidic, but they are succulent, making them a good alternative. Now, to toast or not to toast bread depends on what you will be eating. I suggest you try it out to see what appeals to you.
|tomàquets de penjar|
|cut one tomato in half|
|shepherd's bread/pa de pagès I will toast|
|use one half of the tomato and begin to sucar tomato all over bread|
|rubbing in action|
|sprinkle with salt, just a little|
|drizzle olive oil on top|
|add cheese on top and yum, into your mouth!|