8 September 2010

Spanish Tostada - Whats your Topping?

The Spanish tostada, Spain's most famous breakfast perhaps? It may get overtaken in the popularity stakes by churros during the winter months but for the rest of the year the humble tostada is favoured by most Spaniards as their preferred quick breakfast in the mornings.

Walk into any Spanish bar before lunchtime and you can order "tostada de tomate", this is the most popular version consisting of a French stick cut in half then half again lengthways, toasted then spread with tomato frito. To serve you allways receive the customary olive oil and some salt. For the braver you request a tostada de tomate "con ajo", this puts a whole different twist on your toast with the addition of raw garlic cloves being rubbed to within an inch of their life over the toast before the tomato is spread on top, a nice combination but maybe not if your on your way to the next board meeting.

Tostada (like pizza) is open to all kinds of ideas and toppings so it is allways tasty to deviate from the norm and try something different. Plain old vine ripened tomatoes, sliced and peppered work a treat as does thinly sliced serrano ham or you could try devilled mushrooms, kidneys, spinach, manchego, sobrasada, chorizo or lightly fried pancetta. The key is variation and with tostada's being so versitile you can choose almost any topping you like.

For tapas, if you are going to serve them as a starter immediatly cut the bread into cross sections to make "mini tostadas" (pic above), with a selection of ingredients and toppings handy you can create a plate of real Spanish flavour and present something both colourful and delicious for the guests.

Just don't forget the olive oil...


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