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Spanish Eyes, English Words

A blended blog - Spanish life and culture meets English freelancer who often gets mistaken for Spanish senora. It's the eyes that do it, rather than the command of the language. Anything can and probably will happen here.

Making the most of tomato paste
27 February 2013 @ 01:47

The first time we ever went to a family-run Spanish restaurant, we were served with bread, ali oli (garlic mayonnaise) and tomato paste while we waited for the salad. It seemed much more interesting than boring old butter, and of course, it was healthier. At that time, my Spanish wasn't up to dragging the recipe out of the waiter, but on my next shopping trip, I spotted tomato paste in the cold cabinet at Consum.

It was okay, but nowhere near as good as the restaurant version, and at just over a Euro for a small tub, it was hardly economical. A swift surf on the Internet turned up a recipe, and it's surprisingly easy to make. Just grate some tomatoes - yes, you heard that right. Simply rub the pointy end of the tomato over the grater teeth, and the skin will peel away gracefully to form a protective shield for your fingertips. Grating also helps you to get every bit of flesh from the tomato, but be sure to use a grater with an integrated bowl, or things could get very messy.

Once you have enough grated tomato, drizzle in some olive oil, and add freshly ground black pepper to taste. If the mixture seems a little slack, stir in a little tomato frito to bind it together. Tomato paste also makes a great breakfast spread on toast for tostada con tomate. I also add it to soups and stews as a thickening agent, or use it as a spread instead of butter.

I must tell you about my favourite sandwich. I spread one slice of wholemeal bread with tomato paste, and another with ali oli. Then I add tuna and sweetcorn for a tasty sandwich which is low on fat and calories. With the ali oli and tomato paste, you don't need to add extra mayonnaise to the tuna, and you're saving more calories by not using butter. The calories for the cava have to come from somewhere, don't they?



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5 Comments


damu said:
27 February 2013 @ 08:55

Grated Tomato. Interesting. WIll give that a go.


mac said:
01 March 2013 @ 09:16

Yes it's called "pan catalan a", try rubbing raw garlic on the toast before putting the tomato and olive oil on, not sure about the "tomato frito" though. Just make sure the tomatoes are very ripe.


Sandra Piddock said:
01 March 2013 @ 09:25

Thanks for that tip, Mac. I've thought about adding garlic to the paste, but my husband doesn't like it too garlicky. This way I could enjoy my tostada without risking divorce!


Robert said:
03 March 2013 @ 08:05

My wife suffered badly from arthritis until she stopped eating raw tomatoes or citrus fruit,she is now arthritis free,on the rare occasion when she has tomato or citrus fruit the arthritis returns,she can eat cooked tomatoes.


Sandra Piddock said:
03 March 2013 @ 11:06

Robert, I also have arthritis, and I kept a food diary to see which foods triggered a flare. Luckily, tomatoes are not one of the trigger foods, but red wine does it for me, and also red meat if I have it two days running.

I'm fine with citrus fruits though, which is good, as we live among the orange groves.


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