“One of the unexpected perks of dining out in Havana is encountering great Spanish ingredients—either imported or smuggled in suitcases by homesick Spanish expats. At Casa Pilar, run by a Spanish señora who’s lived in Cuba for almost two decades, locals indulge in her classic Catalan pan con tomate (tomato-rubbed toast) draped with sweet-dusky curls of excellent Spanish serrano or Ibérico ham. Choose flavorful red-ripe tomatoes and the best jamón you can find. Ibérico, now available in this country, is best, but a good serrano isn’t bad either.” —Anya Von Bremzen and Megan Fawn Scholow in their 2018 Beard Award–nominated Paladres.
- 2 medium, ripe tomatoes, halved crosswise and seeded
- 4 thick slices country-style bread, toasted
- Salt and pepper
- 4 thin slices jamón Ibérico or serrano (or prosciutto)
- 4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Place a grater over a bowl and, with cut-sides-down, grate the tomato flesh to make about 1 cup fresh tomato pulp. Discard the skins.
Spoon 1/4 cup of the tomato pulp over each piece of toast. Season with salt and pepper. Top each with 1 slice jamón and drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil per slice. Eat immediately while the bread is still crisp.
Adapted from Paladares (Abrams Books, 2017).