Pan con Tomate with Jamón
Exceptionally rich and with a subtle nutty flavor, jamón ibérico is one of the world’s finest hams, made from the black Iberian pig, which lives primarily in western Spain. At Aatxe, a Basque-inspired restaurant in San Francisco, chef Ryan Pollnow likes to use jamón ibérico de bellota, an especially fine variety made from pigs that have been fattened on acorns (bellotas). It’s expensive, so when you can get your hands on it, serve it with a minimum of fuss, as in this sublimely simple tapa.
- 1 large ripe tomato
- 8 thick slices rustic sourdough bread
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove
- Maldon sea salt
- 1 oz. (30 g) thinly sliced jamón ibérico
Prepare a medium-hot fire in a grill.
Cut the tomato in half crosswise. Using the largest holes on a box grater placed over a bowl, grate the tomato halves. Discard the skin. Set aside the bowl of tomato pulp.
Brush the bread slices on both sides with the olive oil, using about 1 1/2 tsp. per slice. Grill the bread over direct heat until slightly charred and toasted on both sides, turning once, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the bread to a serving platter.
While the bread is still hot, rub the top of each bread slice with the garlic clove. Discard the remaining garlic.
To serve, divide the tomato pulp evenly among the bread slices, spreading it evenly, and season lightly with salt. Top each bread slice with a slice of the ham and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Ryan Pollnow, chef, Aatxe, San Francisco, CA