Pan con tomate is a traditional Spanish breakfast, and my favourite way to start the weekend is by heading out for breakfast in one of our local cafes.
Wherever you are in Spain you’ll find a version on the menu of almost every bar and café, although it may have a different regional name (it’s called pa amb tomaquet in Catalan, for example, and pa amb oli in Mallorca).
What is Pan con Tomate?
Simply put, it’s bread and tomato. However, there is more to it than that. The tomato is grated to a pulp, before being drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt. This means that the bread should be thick enough to soak up the tomato without going soggy – no sliced white here!
How to make Pan con Tomate
If you want to recreate this typically Spanish dish it’s so easy to make at home and only requires four ingredients – bread, tomato, olive oil and salt. As the ingredients are minimal make sure that what you use is good quality so that you get the depth of flavour you’ll find in Spain.
The ingredients you’ll need (for two people)
- Crusty bread. I use an andaluza which is a half baguette with a soft inside, but a baguette or ciabatta would work well too.
- 2 tomatoes. The bigger the tomato the better so something like a beefsteak tomato works well. The tomatoes should be firm and ripe (but not over-ripe) to make the grating easier.
- Extra virgin olive oil.
- Sea salt.
You’ll also need a box grater and a large bowl.
Step by step instructions for the perfect Pan con Tomate
- Cut the tomatoes in half and, using the large-holed side of the box grater, grate them over the bowl until you’re left with the pulp. Throw away the stalk and the skin.
- Add a glug of olive oil (about a tablespoon) to the tomato along with a pinch of salt.
- Stir the mixture and voila – your topping is ready.
- Toast the bread and, once done, spoon the tomato onto your toast, drizzle with more olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
- Enjoy with a café con leche.
If you want to make a larger quantity it keeps well in the fridge in an airtight container (and actually tastes better the next day).
In some places you may be asked if you want garlic with your pan con tomate. If I’m having this later in the day I’ll often have garlic but, for breakfast, it’s a bit early in the day! If you do fancy added garlic, simply rub a clove on your toast before you add the tomato.