GRILLED BREAD WITH SMASHED TOMATOES - PAIN GRILLÉE AUX TOMATES ÉCRASÉ
Grilled bread. The first time I made this for French friends, they couldn’t believe it. How could something so simple and basic be SO GOOD? French is such a bread culture yet bread has its place, and that place is sliced, in a basket, as a support for cheese, a pusher for salad, a sopper for sauce. Grilled? It really takes the Italians for that, and here, I’ve crossed the border and introduced it to France! And just in case you wondered, everyone I know is making it now! Because this is quick, you can make it while the grill is heating, and have it ready for guests when they arrive so they don’t notice that dinner isn’t quite ready!
ASTUCE: I brush the bread with oil – not too much – before grilling, then brush it again once it’s off the grill. This avoids flare-ups which might add a not-so-good flavor to the toasted bread. It also keeps the fat level down. I get a wonderful organic bread from the food coop in Louviers that looks as though it was made for a giant – it’s a long, fat loaf studded with grains and made with the greatest blend of spelt and wheat flours. Try and find something similar for this recipe.
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: long tongs, pastry brush
PREPARATION TIME: about 4 minutes
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: simple