It is amazing how 5 simple ingredients can turn out so much flavour! This Pan con Tomate means grilled bread with tomato and is a typical Spanish tapa.
I love a tapas meal. You get to sample a variety of little dishes while sipping Rioja wines! Doesn't get much better than that!
Check out the full tapas menu and Rioja wine recommendations here.
You have to make this Pan con Tomate just before serving so the bread doesn't get soggy and the garlic doesn't lose its punch. It is a good thing it is so easy you can whip it up in no time.
The other thing that is interesting about this recipe is the technique for getting the tomato pulp. It is so easy you will probably use it for other recipes where you want the tomato without the skin.
You just cut the tomato in half horizontally and rub the cut side against the large side of a box grater. The pulp is so soft it just oozes out of the tomato and after a couple of minutes you are left holding the entire skin sans pulp! Doesn't get any easier than that!
I suspect that by grating the tomato pulp and releasing all the juice and pulp you may be releasing flavour as well. It is definitely more 'tomato-y' than slices of tomato or even a tomato dice is.
Since there are so few ingredients use the best available. I like to use a white French bread stick cut a bit thicker than you would for a sandwich. You can use any firm, dense bread you like such as ciabatta. You just don't want the bread to have any flavours of its own. Tomatoes in summer will absolutely shine in this recipe. In winter try to get the vine-ripened or juiciest ones you can find. Sea salt that is a bit coarser than table salt also makes the flavour pop.
- 1 white French baguette or other crusty bread
- 2 large ripe tomatoes such as beef steak or heirloom
- 2 medium cloves garlic peeled and cut in half
- good quality olive oil for drizzling
- coarse sea salt such as Maldon or Fleur de sel
- Set oven rack to about 4" below the broiler element. Preheat broiler.
- Cut tomato in half horizontally. Stand a box grater in a large, low sided bowl. Rub the cut side of the tomato over the largest holes of the grater. Continue until all the pulp has been rubbed of and you are left with the tomato skin in your hand. Discard skins and reserve pulp.
- Slice the baguette about 1" thick. Lay slices out on a baking sheet.
- Broil bread 2-3 minutes until surface is golden brown. Turn bread over and repeat on the other side. Watch carefully so bread does not get too brown or burn.
- Remove bread from the oven and rub the cut garlic over one side of each piece. Spoon tomato pulp evenly over each piece. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over each piece and top with a pinch of sea salt.
- Serve warm.