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Pa amb tomàquet
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  • Pa amb tomàquet

    Post #1 - September 7th, 2004, 1:44 pm
    Post #1 - September 7th, 2004, 1:44 pm Post #1 - September 7th, 2004, 1:44 pm
    Pa amb tomàquet

    Pa amb tomàquet, Catalan for 'bread with tomato', is one of the basic dishes -- perhaps the basic as well as the most beloved dish -- of Catalan cuisine. As is the case with so many of the best things to eat, the genius of this dish lies in its simplicity, and perfection in its preparation relies no less on the discipline of the maker to respect that simplicity than it does on the excellence of the ingredients.

    The list of ingredients is the following:

    bread
    garlic
    tomato
    salt
    olive oil

    Since the basic ingredient is bread, there is no point in trying to make pa amb tomàquet unless one has good bread with which to work. Good peasant style bread, as can be got from bakers who specialise in Italian and French breads here in Chicago, is required. For me, that more often than not means D'Amato's but there are a number of other first rate local bakers whose wares would work well here. The bread is sliced and toasted. One then takes a clove of garlic and rubs the garlic across the two sides of the bread; thanks to the texture resulting from the toasting, juice and rasped off particles of raw garlic are left on the bread. Next, one halves a perfectly ripe tomato and rubs this across the surfaces of the bread, leaving the bread slightly coloured with bits of pulp and nicely moistened with the fruit's juice. Finally one applies a bit of extra virgin olive oil to the bread and a pinch of sea salt and heus! There you have it.

    The toasted bread, the raw garlic and the ripe tomato all lend this dish a surprising degree of sweetness, which is balanced nicely by the piquant aspect of the raw garlic, the salt and the nice complexity of excellent olive oil.

    ***

    Simplicity is the virtue of this dish but that is not to say that one must necessarily eat it all on its own. A variation which I enjoy, when the tomatoes I have are superior quality beefsteaks, is to finish the dish by placing slices of the tomato on the bread and applying a bit of sea salt, a dash of coarsely ground black pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil to the tomato slices. I let the dish rest a minute or two, so that the juice of the tomato, drawn out by the salt, mingles with the olive oil and is absorbed by the bread.

    Pa amb tomàquet can be accompanied nicely by an anchovy or sardine, a slice of cheese or some manner of cured pork product. But before one tries it with an accompaniment, one should first savour the dish, when the tomatoes are at their very best, in the maximally simple way or embellished only with a slice of tomato, something not canonical in the països catalans but an excellent gilding of the bread with the apple of gold.

    Here is a Catalan website devoted to this humble treat:
    pa amb tomàquet

    Antonius

    Post-site-move character problems fixed.
    Last edited by Antonius on April 26th, 2005, 8:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #2 - September 7th, 2004, 5:29 pm
    Post #2 - September 7th, 2004, 5:29 pm Post #2 - September 7th, 2004, 5:29 pm
    A great dish that depends on great tomatoes. Which reminds me. Gary's Resi's potato pix set me to thinking about my meal there this past Saturday afternoon.

    Somewhat to my surprise, Resi's served up the first truly great tomatoes I've eaten this summer, garnish to the Russian Eggs (which is the world's best potato salad topped with halved hard boiled eggs, a tangy mayo dressing, very good lox/lochs, and pretty darn decent cheap caviar). The tomatoes, however, were dense and red with nary a seed and almost no pulp. Flesh like a good plumb. A tomato slice like that might be good with a smear of Resi's excellent imported butter on a piece of brick-like Lithuanian pumpernickle from Baltic Bakery. And it was.

    I've always liked Resi's, obviously, and it's very nearby. But the last few meals have made me realize that the guy cooking is more than a fine German chef with recipes and technique. He's more produce-sensitive than some of the better Italian and even South East Asian chefs around town (high praise in my book).
  • Post #3 - September 7th, 2004, 5:47 pm
    Post #3 - September 7th, 2004, 5:47 pm Post #3 - September 7th, 2004, 5:47 pm
    JeffB wrote:I've always liked Resi's, obviously, and it's very nearby. But the last few meals have made me realize that the guy cooking is more than a fine German chef with recipes and technique. He's more produce-sensitive than some of the better Italian and even South East Asian chefs around town (high praise in my book).


    That indeed is high praise. We should catalogue such places.
  • Post #4 - September 9th, 2004, 3:41 am
    Post #4 - September 9th, 2004, 3:41 am Post #4 - September 9th, 2004, 3:41 am
    JeffB wrote:... the first truly great tomatoes I've eaten this summer... dense and red with nary a seed and almost no pulp. Flesh like a good plumb. A tomato slice like that might be good with a smear of Resi's excellent imported butter on a piece of brick-like Lithuanian pumpernickle from Baltic Bakery. And it was.


    It is a sad fact of life that truly excellent tomatoes are available for only a brief time in most places. They simply must be picked at pretty much full ripeness and picked at any point before that, to allow for shipping or storing, they just aren't the same. The difference was painfully obvious a couple of weeks ago with the tomatoes from the Printers' Row farmers' market. For sale was a mixture of a few of the first ones from the farmer's own crop, perfectly ripe, and some which he had gotten from some other farmer further south in the State. Which was which was not so obvious as one might expect from the outside (which is to say my success rate in picking the good ones was only about 67%) but once cut open and, more especially, once tasted, the difference could only be not perceived by someone who... well, someone with a strange palate.

    The best I've had this summer so far were the first ripe ones I had, grown on a balcony by a friend here in Printers' Row, as mentioned in another post. I'm not sure what variety they were but they weren't beefsteak tomatoes. The main vendor at the PR farmers' market had some of his own beefsteaks this past week and they were very, very good, much as described above in the quote from JeffB.

    A
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #5 - June 30th, 2005, 9:43 am
    Post #5 - June 30th, 2005, 9:43 am Post #5 - June 30th, 2005, 9:43 am
    Pa amb tomàquet matiner

    Pa amb tomàquet, Catalan for 'bread with tomato'...

    Normally in this part of the world, one wouldn't even think of being able to make this dish until some time in August but the two recent and quite intense heat waves, combined with the remarkable dryness of this May and June, have rendered Chicago's climate so far this summer more like that of Tarragona and Barcelona (both lying at almost the same latitude as our noble burgh) than it usually is. Already a couple of weeks ago, in the midst of the first heat wave, I noticed a medium sized tomato on one of our 'Heartland' plants very near to ripeness -- unfortunately, I decided to leave it to ripen for two more days and, when picking time came, I discovered that the tomato was indeed amazingly ripe and beautifully formed but also half-eaten by some manner of uninvited guest.

    A couple of days ago I saw two more tomatoes approaching ripeness but these two were still quite small; we waited anxiously and then, finding them whole and reasonably ripe, we picked them yesterday evening, before any beasties might spoil our fun. This morning, as I surveyed the possibilites for a prima colazione or esmorzar, not much captured my fancy until my gaze fell upon the those two little tomatoes; it was then decided:

    Image

    As mentioned above, the list of ingredients is just the following: bread, garlic, tomato, salt, olive oil. I went wild this morning and added a little freshly ground black pepper. The oil I used was an organic product from Crete which has a very full set of flavours. The little tomato with which I annointed my bread this morning was not at the peak of late summer, tomatoey deliciousness but it was fresh and ripe and, together with the bread and olive oil and garlic and salt and pepper, absolutely wonderful.

    Antonius

    En la senzellesa del pa amb tomàquet es troba el sabor ver de l'estiu.
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #6 - June 30th, 2005, 11:38 am
    Post #6 - June 30th, 2005, 11:38 am Post #6 - June 30th, 2005, 11:38 am
    A,

    Even with the heat we've had, it's amazing that you have tomatoes already.

    Given the depressing tomato crops of the past two years, this was going to be the last year I tried to tomatoes; if I didn't get a bumper crop this time around, I was ready to move on to some other garden obsession next year. I still don't have a single tomato yet, but I'm very optimistic.

    We will probably see an abundance of love apples in the garden and on the market this summer...and I plan to make your tomato bread, as well as a whole lot of chili and pasta sauce.

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #7 - July 1st, 2005, 7:17 am
    Post #7 - July 1st, 2005, 7:17 am Post #7 - July 1st, 2005, 7:17 am
    David Hammond wrote:Even with the heat we've had, it's amazing that you have tomatoes already.


    I agree but we do have most of the tomatoes in a spot that gets sun almost the whole day and ths past month we've had almost no overcast days and a couple of long strings of +90º temps... The 'Heartland' plants are the ones that have the most developed fruit but a couple of other varieties we have planted are also full of small to medium green fruits already. It must be the end of the world coming... :shock: :cry: :wink: ... (though I know we've been reassured that there is no global warming :roll: )...

    Given the depressing tomato crops of the past two years, this was going to be the last year I tried to tomatoes; if I didn't get a bumper crop this time around, I was ready to move on to some other garden obsession next year. I still don't have a single tomato yet, but I'm very optimistic.


    Last year was remarkably cool, no? I saw not too long ago on a weather report the claim that we officially had only one day over 90º... The summer before that, I can't remember...

    Antonius
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #8 - July 1st, 2005, 7:31 am
    Post #8 - July 1st, 2005, 7:31 am Post #8 - July 1st, 2005, 7:31 am
    Antonius wrote:Last year was remarkably cool, no? I saw not too long ago on a weather report the claim that we officially had only one day over 90º... The summer before that, I can't remember... Antonius


    I believe we've already had more over 90 degree days than the last two (or maybe even three) summers combined.

    Just went out to check my plants; major fruit coming in on several.

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #9 - July 1st, 2005, 8:57 am
    Post #9 - July 1st, 2005, 8:57 am Post #9 - July 1st, 2005, 8:57 am
    I've been enjoying Pa amb tomàquet since you first posted it. My fairly hard to feed 4 1/2 yr. old fell in love with it immediately. He calls it "spicy bread" - I suppose because of the bit of prickle from the raw garlic and the acid in the tomato. (I too commit the apostacy of ground pepper, but not for Ben, who rejects anything that he terms "a fleck" in his food.)

    Just before you re-posted, out of the blue he asked for it, after a seasonal gap of virtually a year. Can it be that he's clueing into the seasonality of great food? My wife had returned from the farmer's market with some fresh tomatoes (B/B+, better to come, but not at all bad). And so last night was a virtual festival of Pa amb tomaquet. Accompanied by sliced tom. w/ mozz. and basil.

    *One procedural variation I've adopted is to lightly toast the bread first, then brush with oil, rub with garlic, sprinkle with salt, THEN a final toasting, with the tomato rubbed on at the very end before serving. (This comes courtesy of my wretched toaster oven which requires about 2 1/2 cycles to finish toasting anything.)

    There's a delightful hiss when the raw tomato hits the now hot oil on the surface of the bread, accompanied by a brief burst of tom./garlic aroma. So far it's the only silver lining I've found to owning this feeble appliance.

    Final note: We also had a beet salad, gleaned from a very unlikely source - one of those "cooking light" , or "healthful and delicious" things that are near the check-out at some stores. Anyway, it's beets (cubed) with the greens lightly wilted, arugula, toasted pumkin seeds, crumbled chevre or montrachet (though I often sub. with sheep feta), balsamic dressing. The balance of sweet/salty/bitter/sour/sapid/soft/crunchy is just about perfect.
    "Strange how potent cheap music is."
  • Post #10 - July 1st, 2005, 10:49 am
    Post #10 - July 1st, 2005, 10:49 am Post #10 - July 1st, 2005, 10:49 am
    Beets with goat cheese and arugula makes a nice bruschetta. Had some last night, also some with grilled figs, pancetta and goat cheese.
  • Post #11 - July 1st, 2005, 1:03 pm
    Post #11 - July 1st, 2005, 1:03 pm Post #11 - July 1st, 2005, 1:03 pm
    mrbarolo:

    I'm very glad you like that dish so much and really like the story about Ben a) liking it too and b) asking for it out of the blue. Very cool. Next time I make it, I'll see if I can get Lucantonius to try it. For such a simple dish it has a fairly complex flavour profile, but the sweet element is quite prominent and I hope Lucantonius would be pleased enough by that to go along with the 'spicy' element, etc. Luckily, the traditional Catalan version admits none of the dreaded "green stuff."

    ***

    For lunch today Amata and I had the tomato bread (to use up the little guy in the picture above*) alongside a tuna salad of tuna, slivers of cucumber, thin slices of red onion, salt, pepper, lemon juice and olive oil. The two dishes complemented one another nicely.

    Antonius

    * The little tomato was not enough to dress all the slices of bread required by two hungry LTHers. An exceedingly good looking plum tomato (purchased at Casa del Pueblo) was used to supplement the home-grown little beauty. The difference both in flavour and look of the slices of bread dressed with the two tomatoes was quite striking. The store bought fellow, who looked ripe but only sort of was, did not really colour the bread pink at all the way the home grown tomato did (see picture above for illustration of the pink hue left by a genuinely ripe tomato). Needless to say, the home grown tomato imparted a stronger and more delicious flavour as well.
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #12 - July 16th, 2005, 12:53 pm
    Post #12 - July 16th, 2005, 12:53 pm Post #12 - July 16th, 2005, 12:53 pm
    Antonius wrote:Pa amb tomàquet

    Pa amb tomàquet, Catalan for 'bread with tomato', is one of the basic dishes -- perhaps the basic as well as the most beloved dish -- of Catalan cuisine.

    Antonious,

    Made Pa amb tomàquet for lunch today, maybe the 15-20th time since your post. Today's was a cut above though as I used all ingredients from Green City Market. Drop dead gorgeous tomatoes, just from the ground garlic, organic bread from Red Hen's booth, which is noticeably different from the day to day fair on Milwaukee Ave, coarse sea salt and, as R Ray is wont to say, Evoo. :)

    Very nice lunch, and light, as I will need a bit of room for the Evanston Fried chicken taste-off later today. :)

    Speaking of Green City Market, I have to post the pics of the incredible goat cheese stuffed squash blossoms MAG prepared a couple of weeks ago. Those were great!.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #13 - July 16th, 2005, 3:55 pm
    Post #13 - July 16th, 2005, 3:55 pm Post #13 - July 16th, 2005, 3:55 pm
    I am sorely missing my parents' Chicago backyard garden tomatoes as I read this. Not that I can't get wonderful tomatoes, but it's just not the same. But I must say that you're all missing a classic and essential Catalonian accompaniment - wine! Bon profit!
  • Post #14 - July 16th, 2005, 5:37 pm
    Post #14 - July 16th, 2005, 5:37 pm Post #14 - July 16th, 2005, 5:37 pm
    I was recently in Barcelona and without knowing the popularity, was served the tomato bread. I LOVED it!

    Does anyone know a Catalan restaurant in the Chicago area?
  • Post #15 - July 16th, 2005, 6:20 pm
    Post #15 - July 16th, 2005, 6:20 pm Post #15 - July 16th, 2005, 6:20 pm
    The owner of Arco de Cuchilleros is, I believe, Catalan, although the menu does not particularly reflect it by having anything related to mar e muntanya, for instance, or anything with a chocolate sauce, or even with an almond picada.

    I've been eating pa amb tomaquet for many years, since I was gifted with one of Paula Wolfert's cookbooks, sort of a personal favorites. She claims that you can't really reproduce it without the Catalan bread, which she provides a recipe for.

    My personal favorite bread for it, one that really stands up to grilling and will absorb a good amount of tomato while retaining some crispness on the through side, is D'Amato's sourdough.

    Pa amb tomaquet is also very good with a slice of good serrano ham (or at least the best you can get in this country) alongside, or perhaps a real Spanish chorizo (which you can get, but not as good as the ones in Spain). It pairs well with an amazing variety of wines, from cava to reds or whites to xerez, depending on what else you're eating it with. Personally I prefer a Montilla.
  • Post #16 - August 4th, 2005, 9:28 pm
    Post #16 - August 4th, 2005, 9:28 pm Post #16 - August 4th, 2005, 9:28 pm
    LTH,

    While picking up a few items for dinner tonight at Lincolnwood Produce I was struck with the urge for Antonious's tomato bread. LP has D'Amato's bread, I had garlic, olive oil, or as RR would say, evoo, and sea salt, all I needed were tomatoes.

    Sigh Early August and nothing but industrial looking tomatoes at a produce store. I bought them anyway thinking a weak version of tomato bread was better than nothing at all.

    Dinner was marinated shoulder lamb chops (olive oil, lemon juice, s/p, Herbs de Provence) grilled over lump charcoal with a mix of grilled baby zucchini/squash and new white potato.

    As I was getting the fire ready I had a eureka moment, I love grilled tomatoes with a little grated parmesan or pecorino, grilling brings out the flavor and seems to make them juicer with greater depth, so why not grill a whole tomato or two for the tomato bread.

    Grilling worked well, brought out the juices and amped up the flavor of crap, ummmm, I mean industrial, tomatoes to a very edible state. Combined with grilled bread, garlic, olive oil, sea salt the tomato bread was pretty darn good.

    I can't wait to do the same with Saturday's Green City Market tomatoes.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Lincolnwood Produce
    7175 N Lincoln Ave
    Lincolnwood, IL 60712
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #17 - August 5th, 2005, 8:30 am
    Post #17 - August 5th, 2005, 8:30 am Post #17 - August 5th, 2005, 8:30 am
    G Wiv wrote:Sigh Early August and nothing but industrial looking tomatoes at a produce store. I bought them anyway thinking a weak version of tomato bread was better than nothing at all.


    Gary,

    My biggest complaint about big multi-ethnic stores like LP and Marketplace on Oakton is that they don't do a good job of buying local and seasonal.

    When I go to the farmer's market in Federal Plaza every Tuesday, lately the vendors are awash in peaches, blueberries, tomatoes, and sweet Michigan onions.

    Why is it that our popular permanent produce markets are stocked with industrial tomatoes, California peaches, and generally produce that's from everywhere but here? Is it a lack of established distribution channels? Cost? It leaves me puzzled. :?

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #18 - August 6th, 2005, 7:41 am
    Post #18 - August 6th, 2005, 7:41 am Post #18 - August 6th, 2005, 7:41 am
    Well, finally, for the first time since late June/early July, when I had a few precociously ripe tomatoes (see above), I got to make pa amb tomàquet with a home-grown tomato: I picked three yesterday afternoon before going out -- I surely would have lost them to Earl the Skwerl. Of the three, the best looking one turned out to be completely riddled with rot inside -- more misery.

    Anyway, the second tomato I cut into was 95% ripe and really quite delicious. The bread I used today was from Ferrara's and that was an especially good, dark-baked loaf. To dress the dish, I used a really high quality California olive oil, McEvoy, that Pigmon and Trixie-Pea gave us as a gift. This oil has a really interesting taste profile, with very distinct initial, middle and final phases. The final phase is rather bitter and, as someone who loves that flavour, I hardly find that a problem. In fact, it seemed to me (I tasted the oil first yesterday evening with plain bread) that the bitter finish of the McEvoy oil would match up really well with the overall sweetness of the pa amb tomàquet. It did. With a small slice of manchego, that was a fine breakfast.

    Muchas gracias a vosotros, P & T-p.

    Antonius
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #19 - August 6th, 2005, 2:27 pm
    Post #19 - August 6th, 2005, 2:27 pm Post #19 - August 6th, 2005, 2:27 pm
    I suspect that the big problem with local, seasonal produce in the ethnic and other fruit and vegetable markets is that wholesalers, both South Water Market and Randolph Market, carry very little of the stuff. Midwestern muskmelons and sweet corn seem fairly common but little else. Michigan apples show up in the fall and winter, but most of them seem to be from storage.

    I don't know how much of the problem at the wholesale level is that most fruit and vegetable growers around here are not very large and how much is that having top quality part of the year makes the rest look bad. Secondary issues are that produce must be picked less ripe to stand up to distribution through wholesaler and retailer than the degree of ripeness possible for next day sale at a farmers market and different varieties (cultivars) that can stand up to the handling may be needed. Produce sent through the longer supply chain cannot possibly compete on quality with produce harvested in optimal fashion for farmers markets.

    Farmers markets have enabled restaurant operators to connect with local growers, who deliver directly to the restaurants.
  • Post #20 - August 6th, 2005, 3:53 pm
    Post #20 - August 6th, 2005, 3:53 pm Post #20 - August 6th, 2005, 3:53 pm
    Antonius wrote:This oil has a really interesting taste profile, with very distinct initial, middle and final phases. The final phase is rather bitter and, as someone who loves that flavour, I hardly find that a problem. In fact, it seemed to me (I tasted the oil first yesterday evening with plain bread) that the bitter finish of the McEvoy oil would match up really well with the overall sweetness of the pa amb tomàquet.


    Antonius,

    I'm glad that you enjoyed the oil. It never occurred to me that someone might not like that grassy bitterness that both PIGMON and I love, but it's definitely good to point that out because it is a strong (unusual) flavor. And the pa amb tomaquet seems to be the perfect dish to use it in. Maybe even better than for deep-frying potatoes. :wink: Will have to try that soon. Like I said in the olive oil thread, it's great drizzled over fresh sweet corn too.

    trixie-pea
  • Post #21 - August 6th, 2005, 4:11 pm
    Post #21 - August 6th, 2005, 4:11 pm Post #21 - August 6th, 2005, 4:11 pm
    trixie-pea wrote:
    Antonius wrote:This oil has a really interesting taste profile, with very distinct initial, middle and final phases. The final phase is rather bitter and, as someone who loves that flavour, I hardly find that a problem. In fact, it seemed to me (I tasted the oil first yesterday evening with plain bread) that the bitter finish of the McEvoy oil would match up really well with the overall sweetness of the pa amb tomàquet.


    Antonius,

    I'm glad that you enjoyed the oil. It never occurred to me that someone might not like that grassy bitterness that both PIGMON and I love, but it's definitely good to point that out because it is a strong (unusual) flavor. And the pa amb tomaquet seems to be the perfect dish to use it in. Maybe even better than for deep-frying potatoes. :wink: Will have to try that soon. Like I said in the olive oil thread, it's great drizzled over fresh sweet corn too.

    trixie-pea


    After reading Antonius' post this morning, I was inspired to make a breakfast of pa amb tomàquet myself--D'Amato's bread, McEvoy olive oil, and a tomato that had a few hours before it was "well past its prime".

    As I told trixie-pea in an off-line discussion, this is the first time I have knowingly tasted an American olive-oil, especially one of such unique quality. The grassiness is immediately apparent and it does finish with a mild bitterness (which I also enjoy). It was a pleasing breakfast, indeed.

    Earlier in the week I used the McEvoy oil to top a bowl of linguine with escarole. At first I was afraid that matching the oil with a bitter green like escarole would produce an unpleasant flavor, but the earthy, grassy flavor had a mellowing effect on the greens and there was no unpleasant bitterness to the meal at all.

    Thanks for the oil, t-p (and thanks for the breakfast inspiration, A).

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #22 - August 6th, 2005, 4:15 pm
    Post #22 - August 6th, 2005, 4:15 pm Post #22 - August 6th, 2005, 4:15 pm
    I had a fantastic lunch today of pa amb tomàquet and some local corn. It was an orgy of summer tastes.

    Thanks, A.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #23 - August 6th, 2005, 6:17 pm
    Post #23 - August 6th, 2005, 6:17 pm Post #23 - August 6th, 2005, 6:17 pm
    LTH,

    I made a little pa amb tomàquet myself today, Green City Market tomatoes, Red Hen organic baguette, Frantoia olive oil, garlic and sea salt. Though I'm afraid I just couldn't leave well enough alone.

    I had an unopened pack of Costco smoked salmon, from when my parents visited last week, and just could not resist dropping a few slices on the tomato bread. Damn tasty, if I do say so myself.

    Image
    Image

    I had the pleasure of running into Antonious, Amata, Lucantonio, Mike G, and the two young G's, at the Purple Asparagus Booth maned by MAG, TPA and Thor. All I can say is it's lucky I didn't give Antonious a hint of my soon to be crimes against pa amb tomàquet. :)

    Speaking of Red Hen bread, what they sell at Green City is substantially more than their regular prices as it's all organic, made with natural starter. In the past when I've purchased Red Hen at Green City I never gave a thought to price, until today.

    I asked for two medium sized baguettes and a bagel and handed the fellow a $10 bill. He takes it and asks for 50c additional. Huh? Two baguettes and one bagel more than $10? Turns out the bagel, this is for 1 (one) bagel, is $2.50, though he assures me it will be the best bagel I ever tasted and they make it the "right" way with a dunk in boiling water.

    He handed me the bagel, which I immediately tasted. My face must have said it all as he gave me a $1 back and said sorry I did not like the bagel. I was not looking for money back, he insisted, but this was just, at best, an ok bagel. No chew/texture/body and quite bland in the flavor dept.

    It also got me thinking that, maybe, $4 per smallish baguette is $2 too much. That one bite of mediocre bagel broke my ability to achieve suspension of disbelief that the Red Hen Green City Market bread is worth the price, organic or not.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #24 - August 6th, 2005, 7:29 pm
    Post #24 - August 6th, 2005, 7:29 pm Post #24 - August 6th, 2005, 7:29 pm
    I really don't think it's worth the price. The bread is fine, but not great. It's just better than most...

    Me, I still dream about Melissa's bread.

    For what it's worth, the guy at Green City who sold me a $6.50 loaf of organic sourdough spent a long time giving us the hard sell after I had already asked for a loaf. Of course, to me, it tasted virtually identical to the non-organic sourdough I bought a week later at the Wicker Park store. The person behind the counter at the Wicker Park store was a little incredulous that it cost so much at Green City.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #25 - August 6th, 2005, 10:35 pm
    Post #25 - August 6th, 2005, 10:35 pm Post #25 - August 6th, 2005, 10:35 pm
    Tomatoes... real tomatoes in the markets at last...

    Image

    (Taken at Green City on Wednesday.)
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  • Post #26 - August 7th, 2005, 1:01 pm
    Post #26 - August 7th, 2005, 1:01 pm Post #26 - August 7th, 2005, 1:01 pm
    gleam wrote:Me, I still dream about Melissa's bread.

    Ed,

    I couldn't agree more.

    Image
    Image

    This particular afternoon Melissa (MAG) served her homemade bread with fresh goat cheese, drizzled with olive oil, graced with lavender, rosemary and scattered with fresh, ripe, lush figs.

    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #27 - July 18th, 2006, 4:35 pm
    Post #27 - July 18th, 2006, 4:35 pm Post #27 - July 18th, 2006, 4:35 pm
    The first small but perfectly ripe tomatoes have arrived in our garden and breakfast has been as good as can be...

    Image

    Pa amb tomàquet, made just as described in my first post above, dressed with a very nice Ligurian oil. Some garden grown parsley and basil and a couple of small pieces of cheese round out the meal.

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    One of the little tomatoes can be seen in the back. Maybe it's because they're the first ones or maybe they're somehow a little different but the first ones always seem especially delicious.

    Antonius
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #28 - December 6th, 2006, 6:31 am
    Post #28 - December 6th, 2006, 6:31 am Post #28 - December 6th, 2006, 6:31 am
    Back in mid July I was able to make pa amb tomàquet for the first time of the season with a home-grown tomato. The home-grown tomato season lasted until December 1st, which was when I was able for the last time to make this humble but delicious dish.

    The little tomato was picked along with hundreds of others in various stages of ripeness (in some cases better to say 'unripeness') in October. I was surprised at how high a percentage of these turned out to be excellent tomatoes, full of flavour (unlike non-vine ripened store bought tomatoes) and with good texture.
    Image

    Some Aegean sea salt, a particularly well balanced Umbrian oil, and homemade bread:
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    Only 7 months or so till I can do this again (inshaa'llah)...

    Antonius
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #29 - November 22nd, 2009, 11:00 am
    Post #29 - November 22nd, 2009, 11:00 am Post #29 - November 22nd, 2009, 11:00 am
    Pa amb tomàquet
    Pan con tomata e euio neuvo

    It might not be peak season for tomatoes but it is the season for olio nuovo. A slice of homemade bread, toasted, rubbed with garlic and a very good hot-house tomato, dressed further with some nepitella from the garden, some sea salt, pepper and a generous splash of olio nuovo. A slice of the tomato and a small piece of fresh cheese were the perfect accompaniments to the dressed bread.
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    E dappeu ün ätro pö' de pan pe sciorbî ògne gossa de sto bun euio neuvo...
    Image

    Antonius

    Links to other recipes and cooking notes by this writer: viewtopic.php?p=55649#55649
    Last edited by Antonius on November 22nd, 2009, 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #30 - November 22nd, 2009, 11:18 am
    Post #30 - November 22nd, 2009, 11:18 am Post #30 - November 22nd, 2009, 11:18 am
    Antonius,

    The hot house tomatoe I favor are the Comparis, which seem to drop in price every year. What hot house tomato do you prefer?

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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