This Pan con Tomate Recipe is made with Roma tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, salt, crusty bread and topped with jamón serrano.
This recipe came about when recipe creators in Spain did not know what to do with leftover crusty bread once it became hard. Baking was only done once a week so adding tomato on it would make the bread soft again.
This is one of the simplest and greatest tapas recipe created in Spain. It was one of my favorite dishes to eat for breakfast or a snack when I lived in Madrid. Many people top it off with a little jamón serrano as well and extra olive oil. You can use any bread you like, as long as it is crusty. Make sure the tomatoes are as ripe as they can be. This is such a simple recipe that the quality of the ingredients are super important.
There are two types of jamon. There is jamon serrano and jamon iberico. Jamon Iberico is much pricier than jamon serrano, and better quality. It has more fat than Jamon serrano. You can use either options!
What is Pan con Tomate?
Pan con Tomate is a traditional Spanish dish that consists of bread rubbed with garlic and tomato and drizzled with olive oil. It is a simple yet flavorful dish that is often served as a tapa or as a side dish with a variety of meals. The dish is popular throughout Spain and is often served as a breakfast or brunch dish, but can also be enjoyed as a snack or appetizer.
Pan con Tomate Recipe Ingredients
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Roma Tomato
- Olive oil
- Crusty Bread
- Jamon serrano
See recipe card for quantities.
How to make Pan con Tomate
Start by washing the tomatoes and cutting them in half. Place the tomatoes on a cheese grater and grate them completely. Throw the skins away.
Add the good quality olive oil and salt in the tomato pulp and stir. Drizzle olive oil on each piece of toast and toast the sliced bread.
While the toast is still hot, rub each slice of bread with a garlic clove. Spoon the grated tomato pulp on each piece of toast and top with jamón serrano.
Feel free to drizzle more olive oil if you like.
Hint: Feel free to use a food processor instead of a cheese grater.
What to serve with Pan con Tomate
- Cheese and charcuterie: Serve Pan con Tomate with a selection of Spanish cheeses and cured meats like chorizo or jamón serrano.
- Tortilla Española: This classic Spanish Tortilla consisting of eggs, potatoes, and onions pairs perfectly with Pan con Tomate.
- Grilled vegetables: Grilled vegetables like asparagus, zucchini, and eggplant make a healthy and flavorful side dish to accompany Pan con Tomate.
- Olives: Add a bowl of mixed Spanish olives to the table for a salty and flavorful accompaniment to the bread.
- Gazpacho: This gazpacho is a cold tomato-based soup is a refreshing and light addition to a meal featuring Pan con Tomate.
- Sangria: This fruity Spanish wine-based drink is a refreshing complement to the rich tomato and garlic flavors of Pan con Tomate.
- Patatas Bravas: These fried potatoes with a spicy tomato sauce are a classic Spanish tapa that would pair well with Pan con Tomate.
- Seafood: Grilled or fried seafood like shrimp, calamari, or anchovies would be a tasty addition to a meal featuring Pan con Tomate.
Tomatoes: I love using Roma tomatoes but any tomato will work for this, like beef steak, tomato on the vine, or a Better Boy tomato.
Olive Oil: Use extra virgin olive oil for good quality Pan Tumaca.
Garlic: For best results, use fresh garlic.
Bread: I love using crusty bread like a baguette or nice sourdough bread. Italian and French bread works well too.
Pan con Tomate Recipe Variations
- Grilled Bread: Instead of toasting the bread in the oven, try grilling it over an open flame or on a grill pan. This will add a smoky flavor to the dish.
- Toppings: Add different toppings to the bread after rubbing it with garlic and tomato. Sliced cured meats like Serrano ham or chorizo, shaved Manchego cheese, or anchovies are all traditional toppings.
- Spices: For a spicy kick, add some red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper to the tomato mixture. You could also try adding some smoked paprika for a smoky flavor.
- Herbs: Fresh herbs like basil or parsley can be added to the tomato mixture for a fresh, herbaceous flavor.
- Avocado: For a creamy twist on the dish, add sliced avocado to the top of the bread after rubbing it with garlic and tomato.
- Balsamic glaze: Drizzle some balsamic glaze on top of the bread for a tangy and slightly sweet flavor.
For more tapas, check out my Authentic Spanish Tortilla.
- Toaster or oven: To toast the bread until it's crispy and golden brown.
- Cutting board: To cut the bread and the tomato in half.
- Cheese grater: To grate the tomato and get the pulp for the topping.
- Garlic press or knife: To crush the garlic and rub it on the bread.
- Small bowl: To mix the grated tomato, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Spoon or brush: To spread the tomato mixture on the bread.
- Optional: A griddle or pan to toast the bread on the stovetop instead of using a toaster or oven.
- Optional: A tomato strainer or sieve to separate the tomato pulp from the seeds and skin, which can be used for a smoother topping.
How to store Pan con Tomate
Pan con Tomate is best served fresh, but if you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. However, keep in mind that the bread may become soggy as it sits in the tomato mixture.
Pan con Tomate Recipe Top tips
- Choose the right bread: For the best results, use a rustic bread such as sourdough or a crusty French baguette. The bread should be sturdy enough to hold the tomato and garlic mixture without getting soggy.
- Use ripe tomatoes: The key to great Pan con Tomate is using ripe and juicy tomatoes. Look for tomatoes that are firm but give slightly when gently squeezed.
- Toast the bread: Toasting the bread will give it a nice crunch and help it hold up to the tomato mixture. You can toast the bread on a grill, in a toaster, or under the broiler.
- Rub the garlic on the bread: Rubbing a clove of garlic on the toasted bread adds a subtle garlic flavor and enhances the overall taste of the dish.
- Grate the tomato: To create the perfect texture for the tomato mixture, grate the tomatoes on the large holes of a box grater. This will create a pulpy mixture that is easy to spread on the bread.
- Season to taste: The tomato mixture should be seasoned with salt and pepper to taste. You can also add a drizzle of olive oil or a sprinkle of fresh herbs such as basil or parsley.
- Serve immediately: Pan con Tomate is best served immediately after assembling to prevent the bread from getting too soggy.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove