grilled portuguese bread and tomatoes

I had my first fresh tomatoes since the fall this week, and they were surprisingly good. They were romas, which is a safer bet than trying to bite into some others, and I’m sure they were imported. But somewhere, tomatoes are ripening to a summer-like state and I forgot just how much excitement that brings me every year.

However, I was even more excited about the bread I enjoyed with those tomatoes. Whenever I’m at Swan, a diner I used to live a few blocks from on the west side of Toronto, I order the “grilled bread with tomatoes.” It’s essentially bruschetta, since the bread is served with diced tomatoes that have been marinading in oil with garlic and basil. But rather than piling them onto thin, small slices of crusty, sometimes crisp or dense bread, the tomatoes are on the side and to me, the bread is the star. It’s a Portuguese bread that’s airy to the point of being pillowy on the inside. I was told it’s a round loaf with a hole in the centre, which would explain the almost triangular shape of each, very thick slice (I imagine the loaf is slightly thinner toward the middle, like a donut.) I much prefer this bread with bruschetta and I’ll need to get my hands on some before I buy my first really ripe tomatoes of the season. Sadly, I still have a little time.