Spanish tomato bread is simply toasted bread rubbed with fresh garlic and ripe tomato, then drizzled with olive oil and a bit of salt. It can be eaten by itself, but is often topped with cheese, ham or sausage and is eaten for breakfast or as an appetizer.
Pan con tomate (literally "bread with tomato") is sometimes called pan a la Catalana in other parts of Spain. It is one of the simplest, most well-loved, most widely eaten and most famous dishes from Cataluña. In Catalan, it is known as pa amb tomaquet.
It is best to use a rustic-style bread, that is solid and dense and a bit wider than the standard, narrow baguette.
- 1 loaf bread (rustic-style)
- 2 cloves garlic (large)
- 2 large tomatoes (round, ripe)
- Garnish: olive oil (extra-virgin)
- Salt (to taste)
- Optional: thinly sliced Spanish cheese, chorizo or ham
- Slice off one end piece, which will have lots of crust, and set it aside for another use. Then slice the rest of the loaf into pieces about 3/4-inch thick.
- Toast the slices lightly on both sides.
- Peel the garlic cloves and slice a bit off the ends and rub the cut ends over each slice of bread. The cloves will eventually wear down after being rubbed against the toasted bread and you will end up with stubby little pieces that are impossible to hold.
- Slice the ripe tomatoes in half across the middle. Then, using the tomato half, rub the cut side of the tomato generously onto each slice.
- Drizzle the extra-virgin olive oil over the slices of bread.
- Salt to taste.
- If you like, enjoy the tomato bread or pan con tomate by itself. However, if you want to make the dish a little more substantial, add Spanish Serrano ham, Spanish cheese, such as Manchego or some Spanish chorizo sausage.