Italians are known for their bruschetta, but Spaniards? They have the lesser known, but equally as delicious, Pan con Tomate! It’s a simple recipe, made with bread, a tomato, and a few pantry staples.
My favorite thing about Pan con Tomate is that you can make it in the winter with a less-than-flavorful tomato, and it still tastes great with lots of fresh tomato flavor. And it makes a great side dish for Tortilla Española! It’s also great for using up that lone tomato sitting on the countertop.
I start with a baguette, which is…French. A baguette is the closest I’ve seen to the bread that Spaniards use for Pan con Tomate. You want something that’s rustic and crusty on the outside for this recipe.
I halve the baguette lengthwise and toast it in the oven until crisp. While it’s toasting, I’ll grate the tomato over a bowl. We’re looking for the tomato pulp only for this recipe—the skin can be discarded.
I combine the tomato pulp with olive oil, sherry vinegar, salt, and a pinch of sugar. The pinch of sugar is particularly important in the winter when tomatoes aren’t very sweet. You can easily substitute apple cider vinegar, or even white vinegar, for the sherry vinegar.
After the bread is crisp, I rub the bread with a garlic clove to impart just a hint of garlic flavor. Then it’s time to load on the tomato mixture! You can spoon as much or as little of the tomato mixture onto each piece as you’d like. Experiment with it! I love how the tomato mixture makes the crispy bread a little soft—it melts in your mouth.
I love serving Pan con Tomate to guests, along with paella, for an inexpensive dinner party. We’re crossing cultures with cuisine here, but it would also be great with pasta instead of garlic bread!
Pan con Tomate (Spanish Tomato Bread)
- ½ of a 26-inch baguette
- 1 medium tomato I used a tomato on the vine
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar apple cider vinegar works, too
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- Pinch of sugar
- 1 large garlic clove
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Slice the baguette in half lengthwise. Then slice the baguette halves into thirds to create 3–4 inch portions.
- Place the baguette slices, cut side up, on a baking sheet. Bake for 10–12 minutes, or until crisp and beginning to brown on the edges.
- Meanwhile, grate the tomato with a box grater over a bowl. You will have the skin leftover—that is ok—just discard the skin. Stir the olive oil, sherry vinegar, salt, and sugar into the tomato pulp.
- When the baguette is done toasting, remove from the oven and rub the garlic clove over the cut side of each piece.
- Spoon approximately one tablespoon of the tomato mixture over each baguette slice (use more or less to taste). Serve immediately.