One of our favorite things to make in the summer with fresh, juicy, tomatoes is a tapa from the Cataluña region of Spain called pan con tomate. Toasted crusty bread, fresh grated tomatoes, olive oil, garlic and salt. Comfort food, Barcelona Style!
What is Pan con Tomate?
" Pan con tomate " ( or "pa amb tomàquet", in Catalan), translates into "bread with tomato". Traditional " pan con tomate " originates in the Spanish region of Cataluña. It's a simple tapa, but incredibly delicious and satisfying.
Whenever we go back to Barcelona, the city where we were raised, " pan con tomate " is the first thing we want to eat. In Barcelona, you can pretty much find it in any tapas bar or restaurant.
How to Make Pan con Tomate
" Pan con tomate " is made by simply toasting or grilling crusty bread, rubbing a peeled clove of garlic first, then a juicy, ripe tomato on it, and adding a generous amount of olive oil and salt (no measurements needed here!). The only secret is good tomatoes! Don't let the simplicity of this dish fool you. Once you taste it, you'll absolutely love it, guaranteed!
Our mom always grated the tomatoes instead of rubbing them directly on the bread (so we could get more tomato per slice), and that is how we make it at home, too. She definitely found a way to improved on a classic!
Serving suggestion: Place the toasted bread in a tray next to a bowl of grated tomatoes, peeled garlic cloves, a bottle of good quality extra virgin olive oil and some salt. Let each person build their own " pan con tomate ".
Make sure to select good, ripe and flavorful tomatoes!
Peel and cut a clove of garlic in half, and rub it on the toasted bread.
Always use good quality extra virgin olive oil when making " pan con tomate ", it makes a huge difference!
Spread freshly grated tomato on the toasted bread.
What are tapas?
Tapas are little plates of food served in tapas bars thru-out Spain. Each region of Spain has its own specialty tapas, and " pan con tomate " is only found in the Spanish region of Cataluña. The food served in those little rustic tapas plates can be hot or cold, and it can be as diverse as a couple of scoops of stew, to a slice of tortilla de patatas to a little plate of Marcona almonds.
A little personal story...
Growing up, our dad would bring the most amazing fruits and veggies from his garden, especially during the summer. Super sweet tomatoes, giant watermelons, cherries, figs...
He still has that garden today, and whenever we go visit, we take our kids fruit and veggie picking. They always have a blast (even now that they're grown!) and get super excited to eat what they picked. Wanna get your kids excited about eating fruits and veggies? Show them where they come from and get them involved!
We used to pick tons of produce, but the best, by far, were the tomatoes.
So sweet and juicy, you could eat them off the vine, as if they were apples!! And just perfect for " pan con tomate ".
This post was originally published in August 2012 and has been updated on June 23, 2020.
Frankly, pan con tomate is delicious on its own, but you can also top it with:
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Pan con tomate is a simple yet delicious tapa from Barcelona. Toasted bread, with fresh grated tomatoes, olive oil, and salt. Comfort food Barcelona Style!
- Ciabatta, Baguette or Crusty Rustic Bread, as much as you need
- Ripe, flavorful tomatoes
- Garlic cloves (optional)
- Extra Virgin Olive oil
- See Note regarding amounts
- Toast or grill the bread
- Grate tomatoes in a large bowl (See Note 4)
- Lightly rub the toasted bread with a garlic clove (if using garlic)
- Drizzle bread with olive oil
- Spread the grated tomato over the bread
- Add salt to taste
- Enjoy plain or with your favorite topping (some of our favorites are tortilla de patatas and Manchego cheese)
- Use as much bread, tomatoes, olive oil and salt as you need, depending on how many people you have at your table
- If you like fresh garlic, peel and cut a clove of garlic in half and rub it on the toasted bread.
- You may grate the tomatoes one day ahead and keep in a glass airthight container in the fridge. We wouldn't recommend grating the tomatoes more than one day ahead.
- Drizzle olive oil and spread the tomato right before serving, to prevent the bread from getting soggy. You can also place the toasted bread in tray next to a bowl of grated tomatoes, some peeled garlic cloves a good bottle of olive oil and some salt. Let each person build their own " pan con tomate ".
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: raw
- Cuisine: Spain
- Serving Size: 1/2 ciabatta bun
- Calories: 136
- Sugar: 3
- Sodium: 223
- Fat: 3.7
- Saturated Fat: .8
- Unsaturated Fat: 1.8
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 22
- Fiber: 2
- Protein: 5.2
- Cholesterol: 0
Keywords: pan con tomate, bread, tomatoes, garlic, appetizer, summer, Spain, tapas,