Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pan Am Oli - A Toast to Bread!

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Have you met my personal rain cloud? It follows me wherever I go, waiting to spill buckets of rain on me when least convenient. It is so reliable, I could hire myself out as a rain maker.

Meet my personal rain cloud...

I was in Florida about 8 years ago. There had been drought for about 3 months. Not a single drop of rain had fallen. My beloved and I took a canoe out on what had been a lake but which had shrunk to an alligator-infested puddle due to the lack of water. When we got to the middle of this admittedly large puddle, a tempest blew up out of nowhere. The wind threatened to capsize the little boat. For a few nerve-wracking moments, I thought we were going to become a quick and tasty lunchtime snack for hungry reptiles. Rain fell from a miniscule cloud high in the sky, hitting the water like pennies, and soaking us to the skin.

“Fall in, honey?” I was asked when we returned the canoe, looking like a drowned rats. Huh!

My personal rain cloud struck again when we visited Majorca. Himself and myself dined in a sweet little local restaurant right on the harbour, starting with Pan Am Oli and moving on to one of their incredible stews. We had planned to return for another excellent meal. Meantime, the island was struck by one of the worst storms they’d had in years and nearly half the boats in the harbour were wrenched loose from their moorings and destroyed. Huge waves flooded our chosen restaurant. Grrrr. Naughty rain cloud!
My Pan Am Oli kit... ready, steady, go!

Whereas Jamie Oliver takes 30 minutes to make a meal, Majorca can feed four people in 3 minutes. Pan Am Oli or bread with (tomatoes and) olive oil is one of those ‘simple ingredients, magical food’ snacks that I absolutely love, as much for its speed of preparation as for its textures and tastes.

For 4 people you will need…
4 slices artisan country bread
1 clove garlic, peeled
2 tomatoes, halved, seeds removed
3 tablespoons (approximately) really good olive oil

Salt and black pepper to taste 

Toast the bread on both sides. For each slice of toast, rub one side with garlic, using the surface of the toast almost like a grater. Rub the same side of the bread with the cut side of a tomato half, squeezing out the pulp and juice. Drizzle with good olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper.

One slice is never enough.
Be prepared to make seconds ... 
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  1. Hester,
    Sometimes I feel like the rain follows me around too ;0)
    I love this Pan Am Oli and had ever heard of it! We have some gorgeous yellow and orange tomatoes coming in out of the polytunnel this week and I think this is the perfect way to showcase them. Lovely photos ad always.
    Hope you are enjoying your Sunday evening, I am getting ready to have a hot port by the fire myself.

  2. mike @ the culinary lensOctober 16, 2011 at 5:46 PM

    I have never heard this name. It's rather like a Bruschetta in Italian cooking.

    I thought all Irish people ha personal rain cloud. I always enjoy your intros to your posts.

  3. Very cute rain cloud. You are very artistic =)
    I’ve never heard of this before, but it sure looks good. I don’t think seconds would cut it at all!

  4. Hester, I could eat your Pan Am oli all day long...simple, wonderful flavors!

    PS...I'll invite you to visit Indiana in August; we could always use rain that month :)

  5. What a simple, classic, delicious dish! I love how much convergence there is in Mediterranean cuisine - Mike's right, this is very much like bruschetta. And yet, with Spanish oil and more different. Cool!

  6. The tomato & bread looks amazing and - while I'd rather have a personal sun shiner...your rain cloud is cute!

  7. My aunt is the same way with rain clouds. One time we had a hurricane heading directly for us, but all of a sudden it did a huge turn straight for my aunt's city. But at least your raincloud is really cute! Plus that simple bread and tomatoes sounds just lovely.

  8. A version of this is served with almost every meal in Barcelona (or at least it was in the places I ate in). I love it and must try to recreate it at home.
    And perhaps you should put your rain-attracting talents to good use by hiring yourself out to the governments of parched lands. I hear there are droughts in many states of Australia... ;-)

  9. I'll raise a toast to that Pan Am Oli - I've not heard of it, either but great when it's so tasty and quick.
    Love your rain cloud. Hey, you should go into business with this - I'm sure you'll receive great commissions in certain countries! ;-))

  10. I love toasted bread and this one look so crunchy! :)


  11. I love your little rain cloud. We could have used it in Florida again two months ago when we barely had any rain! Now onto the bread, you can't beat garlic, tomatoes, and olive oil!

  12. Holy yum. Give me a bottle of red and whip these up and I could nosh all night long! I'll share my red with you if you bring these over. I can't make any promises that your little rain cloud won't follow you though :)

  13. love love love how gorgeous and simple this is! I think I might have a rain cloud too- Austin was in a giant drought until we had to catch a flight. We got delayed 5 hours due to the heavy rain!

  14. Me gusta tu nube, tu gatito, tus recetas... es que me encanta y me encanta tu blog, así que me quedo aquí a seguirte!
    Un beso grande desde Madrid,

  15. This is one of my favorite things to snack on. Okay, anything with bread and olive oil with some pepper is my favorite thing to snack on...

    Cute blog - just discovered it!

  16. This looks fantastic, Hester - the perfect rainy day snack. Love it! Congrats on Top 9!! :)

  17. Lovely, summery, Mediterranean-y comfort grub. I love the grating the garlic on the toast bit.

  18. Ohhhh yum!!! This dish brings back so many fantastic memories... I had my fair share of Pa amb tomàquet when I was working in Catalunya as a volunteer in a National Park a few years ago as part of an international group of youngsters. Ohhhhh soooo nice!

  19. I love your sense of humor about things. Your personal rain cloud is darling. I love this appetizer. I can make an entire meal out of appetizers like this.

  20. Yum, this is one of my favourite Catalonian recipes, so simple but so good!


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