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Guest Blogging Fridays: KZ’s Tapas

April 29, 2011

I always knew I wanted to be a teacher, but I never knew the right school, in which I dreamed of teaching, existed. Five years ago, I found my present school. A wonderfully positive learning environment, I feel that it is a unique school, where students and teachers have real collegial relationships. Students are funny, confident, analytical, and empowered. Having attended and worked in many schools, I know this is a pretty wonderful place.

My first year, I had a stellar group of AP US History students, who are all still sure to stop by, email me, treat me to lunch, enjoy coffee, babysit Serafina, call for advice, and even pop in to “teach” my present students. I love hearing about their life paths, and I am amazed by their ambition. Recently, one of the students, KZ, sent me a guest blog post. I remember her as an extremely mature, curious, and enthusiastic student– with the fantastic ability to be silly and not take herself too seriously. An important factor in learning and exploring. A photographer and avid traveler, KZ is spending the semester doing both. Take a gander at her fresh summer ingredients and beautiful photography….makes me consider putting a new camera on my wish list, sadly for me, I am thinking this is KZ’s superior photography talent at work!

Hello! I am a former student of Vegetarian Salmon and an avid reader of her blog. I am very grateful for the opportunity to write a guest post, as I’m currently dipping my toes into the world of blogging, and Vegetarian Salmon is one of my inspirations for vegetarian cooking and accessible writing. I am currently studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain. Full of seafood and spices, Barcelona is a wonderful place to go if you are a foodie of any level–Mark Bittman’s absolute favorite sandwich (only 5 Euro!) can be found here, and previous reigning champion of the world’s Best Restaurant lists, El Bulli, is close-by. I have had to adjust from my rigid college dining hall hours to “Spanish time”, as Spaniards eat a large lunch at around two and wait until at least nine-thirty before even thinking about dinner. I enjoy living in an apartment here, because it lets me do a combination of cooking for myself and going out to eat. Tapas, little dishes that are enjoyed with wine or beer, are quite common. Pan con tomate is one of my favorite tapas from this region. It is incredibly simple, and at the same time utilizes a common kitchen ingredient: stale bread.

If you don’t have stale bread, toast sliced pieces of fresh bread beforehand. You can enjoy this tapa by itself, or with a slice of manchego cheese. Recently, I made this as an appetizer for a few friends and topped it with a simple summer salad. 

Click here for a link to KZ’s Blog

Pan Con Tomate

  • 1 loaf of stale bread, sliced into 1.5 inch pieces (use rustic bread such as a round loaf or baguette)
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 4 tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt

Peel garlic cloves and cut the tip off of each end. Rub the exposed part of the clove across the bread; the bread should “grate” the garlic and the clove should get smaller. Add as much as desired, then slice a tomato in half. Rub the tomato onto the bread, squeezing the insides out as you go. Repeat for all pieces of bread, then finish with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt.

Simple Cucumber Salad

  • 2 cucumbers, diced
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced with seeds removed
  • 1 1/2 onions (purple or white), diced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

Combine vegetables in a bowl; whisk together remaining ingredients and pour over the vegetables. Let sit for at least an hour for optimal flavor. Eat by itself or spoon on top of pan con tomate.


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