Pan con Tomate
Serves 2-4, depending on appetites
1 large, ripe tomato (any variety or color), or two small ones
4 small to medium-sized slices of rustic bread
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt (preferably coarse salt)
1 clove garlic, peeled and cut in half (optional)
Freshly-ground black pepper (optional)
Cut the tomato(es) in half through the equator. Put one half in the palm of your hand, and grate the tomato on the large holes of a box grater sitting a bowl. Be sure to bend your fingers back so you don’t accidentally grate them. You’ll end up with lovely, homogenous tomato pulp in the bowl, and pretty much just the tomato skin in your palm. Repeat with the other tomato half.
Spoon the grated tomato on the bread slices. Drizzle with a little of the oil, then sprinkle lightly with salt. Add some pepper if you like. Serve right away if you don’t like the tomato to soak into the bread (which I don’t), or wait until the whole thing achieves your desired degree of soakiness.
Optional Bruschetta hybrid: toast the bread slices and rub each slice with the cut side of the garlic clove halves. Top with tomato, oil, salt, and a little pepper.