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Spoiler alert: We broke with tradition. Instead of rubbing toast with cut tomatoes, we grated the tomatoes to make a raw sauce that the bread can really absorb.
- 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 2 garlic cloves, halved crosswise
- 2 lb. heirloom tomatoes, cored
- Freshly ground black pepper, chopped oregano, and/or oil-packed anchovy fillets (for serving; optional)
Preheat oven to 300°. Holding a bread knife so it’s parallel with work surface, slice ciabatta in half lengthwise (like opening a book). Slice each piece in half lengthwise down the center, then cut each strip on a diagonal into 4 pieces (you should have 16 pieces total).
Drizzle 3 Tbsp. oil over bread and rub each piece to evenly distribute oil. Place bread on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until lightly browned and dried out, 30–40 minutes. Rub warm toast with cut sides of garlic; set aside.
Meanwhile, slice a thin round off the bottom of each tomato. Starting at cut end, grate tomatoes on the largest holes of a grater into a medium bowl until all that’s left are the flattened tomato skins. Finely chop skins and mix into grated flesh; season very generously with salt.
Spoon a generous amount of tomato sauce over each toast (you may have some left over). Let sit at least a minute or two so bread can absorb some of the juices. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with more salt, and top as desired.
Tomato Bread Recipe: How to Make Pan Con Tomate
Pan con Tomate (Bread with Tomato) is sometimes called Pan a la Catalana in other parts of Spain. It is one of the simplest, the most well-loved, the most widely eaten and the most famous dishes from Cataluña. In Catalan, it is called pa amb tomaquet and in Spanish, pan con tomate. Although the Spaniards brought the tomato to Europe from America, the tomato was not commonly eaten in Spain until the 18th century. It is believed that Tomato Bread became popular in the 19th century.
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.
Spanish Tapas at Home: Pan Con Tomate Recipe
It goes by many names here in Spain: pan con tomate or pan tumaca in Spanish, and pa amb tomàquet in Catalan. There are different ways of preparing this classic dish: you'll find it with grated tomato, tomato slices, a blended tomato mixture reminiscent of salmorejo, or with just a raw tomato that you rub on bread!
What all of them have in common is that they are delicious and beyond simple. Whether it's for breakfast or tapas at night, make your own with our pan con tomate recipe.
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.
Adjust rack to 4 inches below broiler and preheat broiler to high. Place bread, cut side up, on a cutting board and drizzle with olive oil. Season with kosher salt. Place bread, cut side up, on a rack set in a tray or directly on the broiler rack and broil until crisp and starting to char around the edges, 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove bread from oven and rub with the split garlic cloves. Spoon tomato mixture over bread. Drizzle with more extra-virgin olive oil and season with flaky sea salt. Serve immediately.
Pan con Tomate / Pa amb Tomaquet
The ultimate tapa for Catalans, pa amb tomaquet or pan con tomate, is the simplest and most beloved of tapas, a lightly grilled bread with tomato, extra-virgin olive oil, salt and sometimes a little garlic flair to it.
If you’ve ever set foot in Barcelona or its region, you probably saw this dish on every single tables. Omit ordering it at the restaurant… surely your waiter will ask you if you want some pan con tomate with your meal. It’s simply inconceivable not to order it. Pan con tomate or its Catalan term Pa amb tomàquet is such an integral part of the Catalan culture, identity even. So popular, to the point of having a book written about it, by Leopold Pomés called Teoria i práctica del pa amb tomàquet. You know it’s a serious matter when a whole book is written about a single dish.
History of Pan con tomate
Nèstor Luján wrote about pan con tomate back in 1884 although its origin goes way back to the 16th century. It was a way to revamp dry bread by adding the juice of a tomato on it and let it soak all that delicious tomato flavor. Today, the technique is used also in sandwiches, called Bocadillo (Spanish) or Entrepà (Catalan). Instead of adding mayonnaise or mustard they cover the inside of a baguette bread with tomato pulp and olive oil and fill it with whether, iberic ham, cheese, sausage, sardine, etc.
The rest of Spain also do pan con tomate, although it isn’t as “holy” as in Catalonia. Done sensibly differently and often with a different type of tomato. The Spanish version uses a cheese grater to pick up the pulp from the tomato. There is also other variations like the one in Majorca, where they slice tomatoes, add it to bread and top it with olive oil, vinegar, capers and olives, this one is called Pamboli amb Tomàtiga.
Special hanged tomatoes from Catalonia
The tomato used are typically the ones you’ll see hanging on a string at any Catalan market called ramallet (Catalan). This type of tomato has a thicker skin, therefore it can be conserved way longer, the hanging factor also help to preserve them. The skin loses water and thickens, resulting in a concentrated interior which taste sweeter and bolder than most tomatoes. Plus, it has the perfect texture, once rubbing it on the bread, the pulp just breaks apart easily and evenly leaving the skin behind. It also gives the bread this uniform “tomato topping” without too much “water”, that most tomatoes are filled with. The perfect tomato for this dish! At home, I would suggest an Italian pear style tomato to reproduce this dish or any sweet type of tomato that doesn’t contain crazy amount of water.
The two main bread types used in Catalonia for pan con tomate is whether a flat bread or a round loaf. But really… the most important is to use a good “artisanal” type of bread, its form doesn’t ultimately matter. I, personally, prefer the flat bread, and most restaurant do too. It’s crust is crunchy and interior fluffy with lots of holes to trap the pulp in. There are also two ways to toast the bread, whether you do it lightly in the toaster or oven or often used in the Masia, or rural restaurants with the round loaf type of bread, grilled lightly on the BBQ. Remember it was originally made to revamp dry bread, it should not taste like toasted bread so go easy on the toasting, the bread should stay relatively white.
This dish is usually consumed with other tapas, but also as an appetizer or side dish to a full dish. In rural restaurants, they’ll bring you the grilled bread, tomato, garlic, olive oil and salt separated at the table and let you make your own pan con tomate. Most times, they offer a garlic clove with it, which you can rub on the bread before adding the tomato, but the big majority of Catalans won’t use it.
So.. let’s make this Catalan ritual going!
Pa amb Tomàquet | Pan con tomate
For this recipe, I’ve made 3 versions of pan con tomate: the “Traditional Catalan way”, the “Spanish way” and the ” The new ‘garlicky’ way”.
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Holding a bread knife so it’s parallel with work surface, slice ciabatta in half lengthwise (like opening a book). Slice each piece in half lengthwise down the center, then cut each strip on a diagonal into 4 pieces (you should have 16 pieces total).
- Drizzle 3 Tbsp. oil over bread and rub each piece to evenly distribute oil. Place bread on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until lightly browned and dried out, 30 minutes. Rub warm toast with cut sides of garlic set aside.
- Meanwhile, slice a thin round off the bottom of each tomato. Starting at cut end, grate tomatoes on the largest holes of a grater into a medium bowl until all that’s left are the flattened tomato skins. Finely chop skins and mix into grated flesh season very generously with salt.
- Spoon a generous amount of tomato sauce over each toast (you may have some left over). Let sit at least a minute or two so bread can absorb some of the juices. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with more salt, and top as desired.
This Recipe is Featured In:
Catalan-style pa amb tomàquet
The Catalan style which I originally tried is made as follows:
- Rub the toasted bread with garlic
- Slice a tomato through the middle and rub the cut side of the tomato on the bread
- Sprinkle over a little salt and drizzle with olive oil.
Adjust broiler rack to 6 inches below element and preheat broiler to high for 10 minutes before cooking.
Cut the stem end of the tomato off. Place a box grater over a large bowl, then grate the cut side of the tomato on the largest holes of the box grater. Discard the remaining tomato skin. Grate the serrano pepper over the largest holes and into the tomato pulp. Mix the tomato and serrano until well-combined. Set aside.
Cut each of the baguette pieces in half crosswise to yield 8 total pieces of bread. Brush the cut sides of the bread with the olive oil, reserving any extra olive oil. Place the bread underneath the broiler just until toasted, 1 to 2 minutes.
Remove the bread from the broiler. While the bread is still warm, rub each of the bread pieces with the cut side of the garlic halves. Using a spoon, evenly distribute the tomato mixture over each of the bread pieces. Drizzle with the reserved olive oil, then sprinkle with sea salt. Serve immediately.
Pan con Tomate
Pan con tomate is bread, tomato, olive oil, salt and nothing else, so it’s important to get the best of each. Zabala buys pan de cristal from a purveyor in Spain because the outside gets really crunchy while the inside stays a little soft. Ciabatta results in a similar texture and is widely available here. For the tomatoes, Zabala prefers heirloom Cherokee Purples, but any really ripe, flavorful tomatoes will work. This is a dish where using the highest-quality extra-virgin olive oil makes a difference. Zabala likes Marques de Valdueza, which you can buy online, or any other good Spanish Arbequina oil with fruity notes.
Put the whole bread on a baking sheet and broil, turning once, just until crunchy on the outside, one to two minutes. Transfer to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, use a bread knife to slice the bread in half as if for a sandwich. Return to the pan, cut sides up and toast until golden and crisp, one to two minutes.
Cut the tomato in half through its equator (not from top to bottom). Gently rub the cut side of the tomatoes against the cut sides of the toasted bread to evenly coat the surface with a thin layer of tomato juice and pulp.
Generously drizzle olive oil all over the tomato-coated side of the bread and tilt to let the oil run into the craters of the toast. Sprinkle with salt, slice into smaller pieces and serve immediately.
My Breakfast Obsession Is This Savory Toast From Spain
Step into any café on the Spanish part of the Iberian Peninsula and you are bound to find pan con tomate as one of the breakfast choices. It&aposs a four-ingredient dish involving toasted bread, olive oil, fresh tomato pulp, and salt. In Spain, pan con tomate is as ubiquitous as it is popular and affordable.
And it isn&apost only a breakfast favorite. Many Spaniards also prefer it for their merienda, the afternoon snack, and in Catalonia it&aposs often served at dinner time or as a tapa to accompany a glass of wine. "Ever since I was a child, we&aposve used pa amb tomaquet [pan con tomate in Catalan] for both breakfasts and dinners at home," says Ignasi Camps, the founder and the owner of Ca L&aposIgnasi Restaurant and a founding member of the Foundation of the Catalan Cuisine. "In my restaurant, toasted bread rubbed with tomato is a very old tradition."
Here&aposs how you can try this savory Spanish toast for your next breakfast.
How to Make Pan Con Tomate
The best way to make pan con tomate is to rub the tomato directly on the bread. To be able to do so, though, one should really have the special Catalan tomato—tomate de colgar, a tomato that&aposs spent some time hanging in a sack in a barn after being harvested. Its pulp spreads easily and soaks the bread just enough without making it soggy.
But since you&aposre unlikely to have tomate de colgar lying around, here&aposs another option: a fairly ripe tomato. You may not be able to rub it on the bread without it falling apart, but you can do one of two things: you can either blend it with a hand-held blender (with skin or without) or, using a simple grater, you can grate the pulp and throw away the skin. Add some oil and a little salt, spread it on a piece of toast, and you have yourself an excellent pan con tomate.
The bread is of utmost importance𠅊 country loaf is your best bet𠅊nd the olive oil should be the extra-virgin variety. In this
, Ignasi Camps shows in great detail how to make this classic Catalan dish.
Round out your Spanish-inspired menu with our collection of Spanish recipes.
Watch the video: Pan con tomate. Garlic and tomatoes toast (May 2022).