If there is one thing I have learned since becoming a foodie, it’s that we must never underestimate the power of toasted bread and simple toppings. Few people know this, but some of my favorite meals have involved a high-quality loaf of bread, various cheeses, and a healthy dose of wine. Note: when I say “healthy” here, I do not, by any means, intend to make it seem as though I am calorie-counting; rather, I am digging in, enjoying every last bite of food and glug of wine…and then some.
So when I had the privilege of dining at Curate this past September in Asheville, North Carolina, I knew instantly that I needed to order the Pan Con Tomate Y Manchego. You may remember me mentioning this place in my post about my vacation in Asheville, but let’s recap: Curate is co-owned by two former chefs at Catalonian elBulli, which was the greatest restaurant in the world (we use past tense here because it is now closed). So basically, as can be imagined, Curate is awesome. AND they offer traditional Catalonian dishes, like this one: toasted, rustic bread, rubbed with a fresh tomato-olive oil mixture and topped with a thin slice of manchego cheese. The result is perfection, so obviously I had to come home, make my own, and share it with you.
One Year Ago: Spicy Black Bean and Sweet Potato Soup.
Pan Con Tomate Y Manchego
1 baguette, sliced in half lengthwise and divided into 8 pieces
1 tomato, halved
1 garlic clove, chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
sea salt and ground black pepper
thinly sliced manchego cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place baguette slices cut-side up and toast for about 5 minutes, until golden brown and crispy. Meanwhile, grate the tomato halves into a bowl, discarding the skins afterward. In a blender, combine the grated tomato (and juices) with garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth. Use a spoon to cover each slice of toasted baguette with the tomato mixture. Top each slice of tomato toast with desired amount of manchego. Serve.