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.
What is Tomato Bread?
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.
- Rustic-Style Bread
- 2 Large, Round, Ripe Tomatoes
- 2 Large Cloves of Garlic
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt to Taste
Optional: If you wish, add thinly sliced Spanish cheese, chorizo or ham.
It is best to use a rustic-style bread, that is solid and dense and a bit wider than the standard, narrow baguette. Instead of a baguette, you may use a batard.
First, if using a baguette, cut pieces about 4-5 inches long. Then, slice the pieces horizontally, as you would when making a sub sandwich. If you are using a rounder, wider type of bread, slice off one “end” piece, which will have lots of crust and set aside for another use. Then slice the rest of the loaf into pieces about ¾ inch thick.