Pan con Tomate / Spanish tomato bread: This Spanish tapas dish is so simple to make and comes together in no time with a handful of fresh ingredients. Perfect alongside a salad or a Spanish tortilla.
Ingredients for Pan con Tomate:
Bread: In Catalonia, it is traditional to use coca bread , which is kind of like a flat baguette that is then halved, sliced and toasted. But the bread used varies from region to region, In Murcia where we lived it was served on baguettes. Any type of bread will do. It’s just important that you toast the bread so that it is nice and crispy on top, which will help the bread to “grate” the garlic.
Garlic: It’s traditional to serve tomato bread with large, whole, unpeeled garlic cloves that are sliced in half. This allows you to still get a good grip on the cloves without letting the raw garlic touch your fingers.
Tomatoes: Whatever tomatoes are most ripe and juicy! I like using large ripe plum tomatoes or big beef steak ones. My favourites to use come from the Isle of Wight.
Olive oil: Good-quality extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling.
Cutting hearty bread a little thicker than is typical makes for a stronger base to support a little extra tomato pulp.
A box grater is the easiest way to extract tomato pulp while separating it from the skin.
Split tomatoes in half horizontally. Place a box grater into a large bowl. Rub the cut faces of the tomatoes over the large holes of the box grater, using the flattened palm of your hand to move the tomatoes back and forth. The flesh should be grated off, while the skin remains intact in your hand. Discard the skin and season the tomato pulp with kosher salt to taste.
How to make Pan con Tomate / Spanish tomato bread:
So here’s the fun of tomato bread — you can either prepare it yourself before a meal or serve it DIY-style at the table! Often in Spain, restaurants will just bring you a board with all of the five ingredients laid out and then everyone passes it around to prepare a slice or two for themselves.
If you would prefer to prepare it in advance, I advise waiting until the very last minute to add the tomatoes, since the bread can tend to get soggy if it sits out for too long.
Here’s how to make tomato bread (full instructions in the recipe below):
Toast the bread: As mentioned above, it’s important that the bread be nice and crispy for the tomatoes and garlic to “grate” well on top of it. So slice the bread nice and thin. Then pop it in the toaster (or you can do like I do and toast a big batch in the oven) until it is nice and toasted and golden.
Rub the garlic. Next, slice a large un-peeled garlic clove in half. Leaving the skin on if you don’t want your fingers to smell garlicky! Then rub the clove all over the surface of the bread. I love the flavor of raw garlic on this bread, so I tend to add a lot here. But heads up — raw garlic is spicy! So if you’re not a big fan of garlic, I suggest going light on this step to begin.
Here you have two options:
Rub the tomato (sliced in half) over the bread OR
Grate the tomato with a box grater and spoon the tomato mixture onto the bread. (this method works well for large gatherings or if you want to prepare in advance.
Drizzle the oil. Next, add a quick drizzle of good-quality olive oil to the top of the bread.
Sprinkle with salt. However much you prefer, to taste.
And…serve. Right away! Tomato bread can go soggy quickly. So serve it up ideally while they bread is still warm and crispy right out of the toaster. And enjoy!!
WHAT TO SERVE WITH TOMATO BREAD:
This bread would be a delicious side dish with all sorts of meals. But we especially love serving it with:
The spanish tomato bread was delicious! Made with home grown tomato’s. I had mine with garlic aioli on toasted bread. A lovely lunch! Thank You!!