In Barcelona, Pan Con Tomate or Spanish Tomato Bread is on every menu. It is such a simple meal. It can be eaten for breakfast or lunch with wafer thin jambon or alone. Or as a tapas with other dishes at dinner.
I just have to say that Pan Con Tomate is addictive. It really is. It has become my go to quick lunch. And wait to you find out how easy it is to make. It will become your go to breakfast, lunch, or appetizer. All you need is crusty bread, a big round tomato, good olive oil, garlic clove, and salt. Boom. That’s it. Now you maybe thinking, this like Italian Bruschetta. Kinda, but no. Spanish Tomato Bread is lighter than Bruschetta.
You maybe asking how does she know about Pan Con Tomate as when most people talk about Spanish food as Paella. I spent a week in Barcelona for work. Honestly, it was a city I did not know I wanted to visit. And now I want to go back to explore and experience Barcelona more. The vibe of the city is young forward facing with a deep understanding of the past. Coming from an island with an active harbor and beaches, I really could relate to the relaxed atmosphere. My kind of place.
Barcelona is in Catalonia which is a Spanish autonomous community where Spanish and Catalan are spoken. Tomato bread in Catalan is “pa amb tomàquet.” The Catalans are very proud of their culture and food. From grand restaurants to small mom and pop cafes maybe seating 10, food is everywhere you go. Lucky for me, my colleagues are foodies. We all live and breathe food so I ate well for my week in Barcelona.
My first night my colleague and I went looking for somewhere good and local near our hotel as both of us had just arrived from opposite ends of the world. The front desk sent us to Restaurant “Raco de la Vila” which serves up traditional Spanish and Catalan dishes. That’s where I first had Pan Con Tomate and I didn’t even know what it was. After that I had it for breakfast at the hotel and at almost every dinner once my colleagues told what it was.
Back to Pan Con Tomate
When I say it is so simple, but yet fabulous, I am serious. Really, all you need is crusty bread, a big round tomato, good olive oil, garlic clove, and salt to make it, that’s it. And of course a grater. The secret to this dish is that you grate the tomato. That’s what makes it so great and I have no answer to why. It just does and I’ve never thought to grate a tomato before. But it is works.
All you do is toast or grill your crusty bread, rub a garlic clove, drizzle some olive oil, spoon the grated tomatoes on the bread, drizzle some more oil and sprinkle sea or kosher salt. One tomato per slice of bread. And a garlic clove could do a couple slices depending on how many garlic you fancy. Me, I rub it lightly for a hint of garlic.
What I love about this dish is that it tastes just as good at my house as it did in Barcelona. I get to return to Barcelona whenever I make it and enjoy the good times I had with my lovely colleagues.
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