Pan con tomate is a Spanish staple. It’s served at breakfast, lunch or as a tapa. It translates to “bread with tomato.” It is understated perfection.
Spanish food may be known for intricate small tapas and slow cooked recipes. The best recipes are the simple recipes that let the ingredients shine. There is no better example of that, than Pan Con Tomate.
This recipe is really at its best when using fresh ingredients. Think about finding in season and ripe tomatoes, local artisan bread and olive oil meant for drizzling and finishing dishes. Great ingredients will elevate this humble dish into something that feels special and original.
When making Pan con Tomate, keep the loaf whole and just slice it vertically before grilling. This helps keep the bread from becoming soggy because the crust on the bottom half won’t allow the tomato to soak through completely. You can top the tomato with other ingredients such as jamon iberico, sardines or cheese.
One of the best ways to serve Pan con Tomate is to put all the components on a board. This way you can have all the things you need to assemble the Pan con Tomate, but the bread can stay crunchy and you can pile on the tomato and douse it in an incredible local olive oil. Perfection.
Pan Con TomateCourse: AppetizersCuisine: SpanishDifficulty: Easy
2 heirloom or vine tomatoes, be sure they are very ripe
2 garlic cloves
1 loaf of rustic bread such as pan Gallego, ciabatta, baguette or any bread with a spongy interior and a thick crust
Great quality extra virgin olive oil
Maldon finishing salt
- Using the large section of the box grater, grate the tomatoes. Set aside in a bowl. Discard the tough core.
- Slice the bread lengthwise. Heat a large cast iron griddle to medium. Place the bread on the griddle and grill on each side for 3-5 minutes until the edges become a deep golden brown.
- Remove from the heat and rub the interior pieces of the bread with the garlic cloves. You need to do this while the bread is still warm so the bread can absorb the flavor of the garlic.
- Spoon over the grated tomato, drizzle with the oil and finish with freshly cracked pepper and Maldon salt.
- Don’t let the pan con tomate set for too long. You want the bread to maintain a great crunch