After strolling through the countryside in the summer heat, take a moment to sit outside of a quiet village bar and enjoy a bit of this magical Pan con Tomate, or Tomato Bread. If you don’t have any Spanish villages nearby, no te preocupes. All you need is a grill, a baguette, some fruity olive oil, a clove or two of raw garlic, and some juicy garden tomatoes.
Start with a simple, rustic baguette. If you’re going to get fancy with your ingredients, save your enthusiasm for some top-notch olive oil and a few quality heirloom tomatoes (homegrown is always best, but that leaves those of us in Seattle about 3 weeks out of the year to enjoy tomatoes as they should be).
Grill or toast the bread so that there are dark and toasty bits capable of grabbing at the raw garlic and fresh tomato as you pass them back and forth with a good bit of pressure (the tomato gets downright messy; that’s how you know you’re doing it right).
Finish the toasts with a drizzle of fruity Spanish olive oil and a bit of flaky salt. The tomato bread is perfect served as an open-faced ‘sandwich’ of sorts in the late afternoon on its own. You can dress it up as a tapa (appetizer for sharing) by cutting the bread into thin rounds and serving individual ‘crostini‘ style toasts, but you’ll miss out on the rustic experience (read: olive oil and tomato pulp running down your hands amid a shower of bread crumbs).
Pan Con TomatePrint Recipe
- 1 rustic baguette, sliced lengthwise
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1-2 cloves fresh raw garlic
- 1-2 fresh garden tomatoes or heirloom tomatoes
- Flaky salt
Brush the surface of the baguette lightly with olive oil.
Grill or toast the bread until the surface starts to brown all over, with some darker charred spots if you can.
Immediately rub the cut surface of the raw garlic over the rough toasted bread.
Rub the tomato over the toasted bread as well, pressing hard to ensure that plenty of pulp soaks in to the surface.
Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.
Finish with flaky salt.
Eat it up!