Pan Con Tomate is the Perfect Summer Meal

Tomato Bread – Pan con Tomate, is a cherished dish originating from Catalonia, Spain, and is celebrated for its remarkable simplicity and robust flavours. And, you only need three ingredients: homegrown or market-fresh tomatoes at the peak of ripeness, fresh bakery bread (I like a hearty sourdough for this), and the best extra virgin olive oil you can find.

This recipe is from Emily Lycopolus‘ book Spain: Recipes for Olive Oil and Vinegar Lovers and is crafted to revive stale bread and utilize ripe tomatoes. This classic pairs expertly toasted “pan de cristal” bread with the juiciest tomatoes, creating an extraordinary flavour fusion. Drizzle it with your finest extra virgin olive oil and you’ll have a dish that exemplifies the art of culinary minimalism at its best.

Tomato Bread
Pan con Tomate

Serves 4

4 large slices (each 3/4–1 inch thick) bread, or square ciabatta buns
4 Tbsp robust extra virgin olive oil
4 fresh Roma tomatoes, halved
Sea salt


  1. Preheat the broiler or grill.
  2. Slice the bread or buns in half, toast well on each side, and drizzle each piece with 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil while they’re hot. Rub a tomato half onto each piece, ensuring you get all the way to the edges, squishing as much flesh as you can into the toasted bread. Sprinkle with sea salt and enjoy immediately.

Notes: Keep the leftover tomato skins to add to vegetable stock for extra flavour and a touch of colour.

There’s much debate over whether the tomato should be cut in half and rubbed on the bread directly or grated, spooned onto the bread, and then rubbed in. To make everyone happy, I put a basket of freshly toasted bread, whole tomatoes, olive oil, sea salt, and a paring knife on the table so everyone can make their own. If I’m feeling adventurous, I’ll add a bottle of Sherry vinegar and a few cloves of garlic to the table and let people play with different flavour combinations.

Recipe by Emily Lycopolus from Spain, copyright © 2018 by Emily Lycopolus.

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