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Tostada Con Tomate

pantostada.jpgTostada con Tomate is everything that Spanish food should be - good quality ingredients which are simply prepared to provide a delicious taste of Spain. It's a Spanish breakfast favourite which can also be enjoyed at any time of the day. The Spanish don't really do breakfasts, as they tend have very late suppers. Lunch is generally the main meal of the day. If the Spanish breakfast at all, they have biscuits, pastries or tostada with fruit juice and coffee. Tostada con Tomate is toasted baguette with olive oil and tomatoes - the Spanish don't do butter either! If you buy a toaster in Spain, you'll find the slots are just the right size to toast a baguette which has been cut through the middle, then halved lengthwise. This is a great way to use up day old bread, which would otherwise be fed to the birds or consigned to the bin. In these Credit Crunch times, Tostada con Tomate is a cheap, healthy and filling breakfast or snack which is really easy to make. It can also be served as an appetiser at any time of the day. When we have friends around for a barbecue, I always serve Tostada con Tomate, olives and banderillas while the food is cooking. This fills a gap while Tony does his barbecue thing without ruining everyone's appetite for the main event. When we have visitors from England, Tostada con Tomate makes a quick but satisfying breakfast on those mornings when we want to make an early start for sightseeing or a day on the beach. It's also a healthy snack for children and teenagers who are always hungry. Try it out on your family, and you'll wonder how you ever managed without it!

Ingredients
Serves 4 for breakfast or 6 - 8 as tapas
  •     1 standard baguette
  •     1 large or 2 medium ripe tomatoes
  •     1 - 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  •     Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Method
Trim rounded ends from baguette and discard - or crumble for the birds! Cut bread in half, then slice each half lengthwise. Toast lightly. When bread is toasted, prick surface with a fork, then drizzle olive oil over it. Start with the smaller amount, as you don't want the bread to be too oily. It's easier to add more oil than remove it! Grate tomato into a bowl, then spread over the bread. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve. If you serve your Tostada at lunch or in the evening, you may like to cut a clove of garlic in half and rub the cut side over the bread before spreading with the tomato.

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