In the summer I like to binge on tomatoes and bread, particularly Catalan pa y tomate—a slice of bread grilled on a ridged iron pan, then rubbed hard with half a ripe tomato. The warm bread soaks up the tomato water and liberates its amazing flavor. I sprinkle on some coarse sea salt and a good drizzle of unfiltered fruity extra virgin olive oil. The result is pure heaven!
For an easy summer lunch, I often make this variation: a slice of dense bread is grilled, then topped with chopped tomatoes and left to mellow with seasonings for several hours at room temperature. This simple dish relies on careful dicing, fragrant herbs, fine oil, and the exuding tomato water all working together. Use only the very best summer tomatoes, and be sure to leave long enough (3 to 4 hours) for the combination to marinate and thoroughly blend. Remember: It's this slow melding that really makes the dish.
The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen by Paula Wolfert. Copyright © 2003 by Paula Wolfert. Photographs copyright © by Christopher Hirsheimer. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.