August 15th 2011
Pan con Tomate is a very simple, yet extraordinarily delicious way of serving bread with a meal. In Cataluña, where it originates, all meals come with tomato bread (pa amb tomàquet – the Catalan name), instead of plain old sliced bread.
Pan con Tomate recipe:
Cut and toast some sourdough bread – ideally on a barbecue. Bruise a piece of garlic and chop off the bottom (there’s no need to peel it), then rub the garlic into the toast. Slice a tomato in half and rub/squeeze the juice and seeds into the bread (dispense with the tomato skin). Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
The origin of this bread dish is in pan con aceite (or pa amb oli in Catalan) – bread drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt. I don’t doubt that using bread this way was to ensure that nothing was wasted – stale bread toasted and revitalised!
I like this on toasted sourdough, but you will find it on fresh bread, served in all Catalan restaurants. Generally it arrives preprepared, but some serve bread, garlic, oil, salt and a whole tomato.