Pa amb Tomàquet - Catalan Tomato Bread
Level: Easy
Cuisine: Spanish
Pa amb tomàquet, also known as pan con tomate and tostada, is a versatile dish that's a classic in Catalan cuisine, eaten for breakfast, as a tapa, for merienda, or any other time a craving strikes you. The most important factor in making a good pa amb tomàquet is the quality of your ingredients; so as long as they are good, making this dish is foolproof. The best bread for pa amb tomàquet is rustic and crusty, although you'll often find it made with small baguettes outside of Catalonia. There are two primary methods to make pa amb tomàquet, both of which yield similar results, but the first is more hands on and the second makes it easier to serve pa amb tomàquet to a group.
  • day old pan de cristal, cut in half
  • vine-ripened tomato
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt or a fine flake salt
  • fresh garlic
  1. Toast the bread over open flame, grill or in the broiler.
  2. Slice a clove of garlic in half and rub over the surface of the bread.
  3. (method 1) Slice a tomato in half and rub it liberally across the bread, shredding the pulp in the process, until the bread is saturated enough or you just have the tomato skin remaining.
  4. Drizzle generously with olive oil.
  5. Season with salt.
  6. (method 2) Slice a tomato in half for each person you are serving.
  7. Using a standard cheese grater, grate the tomato, cut side down, into a bowl until only the skin remains.
  8. Stir tomato pulp and seeds with a fork until well mixed.
  9. Serve in a bowl with spoon accompanied by bread, extra virgin olive oil and a well of salt so each person can dress their bread as they prefer.
Some purists will skip the garlic and others will eat pa amb tomàquet with a knife and fork. If you want a more substantial version of pa amb tomàquet, you can top the bread with sliced jamón or anchovy fillets.

Pan de cristal is very difficult to find outside of Spain. If you are unable to find it, you can substitute ciabatta or another airy, dimpled bread with a crunchy exterior. If you can not find any bread similar, a simple baguette will do.