Pile Your Toast with Tomatillos, Cheese, and Prosciutto

On this week’s episode of Mad Genius, Justin Chapple makes a toast inspired by pan con tomate.

Shrimp Toast. Ricotta-Fava Toasts. Cheesy Sausage Cocktail Toasts. We've never met a toast we didn't like, and in this week's episode of Mad Genius, Food & Wine Culinary Director at Large Justin Chapple offers up another satisfying option—Tomatillo Toasts with Prosciutto and Manchego. Inspired by the classic Spanish dish pan con tomate, lightly charred toasts are paired with grated and seasoned tomatillo, savory prosciutto, and salty Manchego cheese. The dish comes together in just 20 minutes, and as a bonus, you can make the grated tomatillo mixture in advance to save even more time.

Read on for Justin's method and follow along with the video above so you can make these toasts at home.

Grill the Bread

The toasts are built on lightly-charred pieces of grilled bread. Justin uses one-inch-thick slices of rustic bread brushed with extra-virgin olive oil. When making pan con tomate, he notes that one of the tricks is using stale bread, "because the stale bread is gonna absorb more of the tomato." Brush one side of each slice first and get them on the grill or grill pan. Then, brush the other side. Grill the bread for about two minutes over high heat, turning once, until they reach that light char.

Prep and Grate the Tomatillos

Next, get started on the tomatillos. You'll need to peel off the husk and rinse off the sap that sits between the husk and the skin, and Justin demonstrates how to do this with the help of a bowl of hot tap water. Once they're all husked and rinsed, cut them in half and then grate each half on the large holes of a box grater into a medium bowl until only the skins remain (you can discard those). To give the grated tomatillo more flavor, Justin mixes it in the bowl with extra-virgin olive oil, crushed red pepper, kosher salt, and black pepper.

Tomatillo Toasts with Prosciutto and Manchego
Inspired by classic pan con tomate, a Spanish dish of bread rubbed with fresh tomato, Justin Chapple tops crunchy toasted bread with tangy grated tomatillos. To round the toast out, he also adds thin slices of prosciutto and shaved Manchego cheese. Christopher Testani

Build and Serve

Now comes the most exciting part—building your toasts and eating them. Spoon a generous amount of the tomatillo mixture onto each toast, and top them with torn strips of prosciutto. Justin notes that when making classic pan con tomate, you'd use Spanish jamón. For the finishing touch, shave on Manchego cheese.

"This is what I'm talking about," he says. "That tangy tomatillo with the heat from that crushed red pepper is just so good. And it's balanced by that prosciutto and that salty Manchego cheese. I mean, this is such a well-balanced toast. I love this and I love getting inspiration from classic recipes."

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