All About Spanish Tomato Bread and How to Best Enjoy it
Some of the best things in Spanish cuisine are the most simple, which is absolutely true when it comes to Spanish tomato bread. Pan con tomate, or pa amb tomàquet in Catalan, is something so easy to prepare but is an important staple in many meals. It’s a small thing that seems to tie many tapas meals together. What exactly is Spanish tomato bread, and what are some of the ways that you can enjoy it? Let’s take a look!
What is pa amb tomàquet?
Pa amb tomàquet might be popular all over Spain, but its roots lie in Catalonia, where is remains an everyday dish. As the name implies, this tapa is quite simple, but the success of the pa amb tomàquet depends on the quality of the local ingredients. You just need a few easily-available ingredients to prepare Spanish tomato bread, which is the best part! You will need fresh bread, the base of this tapa. In Catalonia, the bread of choice is coca de vidre, a bread that is comparable to a ciabatta, or even a light baguette. You want to choose a long, thin bread that is light and airy with some holes when you cut it open.
After you’ve got your bread, you’ll also need a few other things. Fresh, ripe tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, a few cloves of garlic, and a pinch of sea salt. Once you’ve gathered all of the essentials, you’re ready to start assembling the easiest tapa ever!
How to prepare Spanish tomato bread
After all of the ingredients are assembled, there isn’t too much work that goes into preparing pan con tomate. Cut your bread lengthwise. Next, you’ll want to grill or toast the bread so that it gets a bit crunchy and has a golden color. After toasting, take a peeled clove of garlic and rub it over the toast. This gives the bread a nice aroma, but the garlic isn’t overpowering. There are two ways that you can then put on the tomato, the most traditional Catalan way, and the other way that is more popular everywhere else in Spain.
The Catalan way: Cut a tomato in half and rub it over the bread. This will leave a bit of skin and seeds on the bread, along with that delicious tomato flavor. Next, drizzle the Spanish tomato bread with high-quality olive oil, a sprinkle of sea salt, and cut into serving portions.
The Spanish way: For this method, you’ll need a box or cheese grater. Cut a few tomatoes in half and run the flesh over the grater, separating it from the skin. Let the remains fall in to a bowl, and then scoop and spread this over your bread. The consistency will be thicker than if you rub the tomato on the bread, almost like bruschetta. Again, you want to drizzle olive oil and sprinkle salt on the bread to finish.
Ways to eat it
Many people eat Spanish tomato bread by itself, either as an appetizer or to accompany a meal. However, there is more than one way to enjoy this tasty tapa. Many people love to have pa amb tomàquet filled with some goodies as a sandwich. Take two pieces of Spanish tomato bread the Catalan way and fill it with Spanish ham, cheese, Spanish omelet, or anything else for a delicious and tasty breakfast, lunch, or snack. Also, pan con tomate is a great base for a pincho, which can be topped off with any number of things. However you eat it, Spanish tomato bread is absolutely delicious!