What could be better than crispy toast, fresh summer tomatoes, prosciutto and cheese? Nothing. That’s why the simplicity of rustic cooking always is a little jewel in the Bijouxs Kitchen–Pan Cone Tomate (Tomato with Toast). Let’s eat.
There are a myriad of recipes to use the bounty of fresh summer tomatoes. The vines are just exploding with their voluptuous orbs. I have a a few good crops and of course some failures. Supplementing as needed from the Farmers markets help the summer along.
TOMATOES AND TOAST
Really, of course we leave it to the Italians to create the ultimate summer comfort food, Pan Cone Tomate or Tomato with Toast. This recipe suffices as breakfast lunch or dinner, or anytime. First, secure some luscious ripe tomatoes, hopefully home gown. I like to mix up the varieties and use what is ripe and ready to enjoy. The tomatoes are best when picked from the vine, still warm from the sun, Don’t refrigerate tomatoes, keep them out on the counter and use them at their prime. They are summer gold.
Grab the best whole loaf of a rustic country bread you can find. Do not worry if it is day old, in fact the ingenious Italians know how work stale bread. You really do need a heavy cast iron skillet for this one although is toast, a toaster will not do. The slices of bread are deeply browned by heating up olive oil in the cast iron skillet, then toasting the bread on both sides until crispy. If you are frying a large number of slices, I keep the bread hot by placing it in a medium oven on a sheet tray.
It is important that the bread is hot when you rub the craggy bread slices with the juicy sliced tomatoes, shredding, allowing the juices to go into to each tomato in slice. You will notice the absence of garlic, none required. I like to top the tomato bread with slices of thin prosciutto, perhaps thin slices of Romano cheese and of course a sprinkle of flaked sea salt.
A simple dish that is a taste of summer heaven, Pan Cone Tomate (Tomato with Toast), and true little jewel.
As always, enjoy. B