This Catalan dish has Mediterranean links to Italian bruschetta. Pan con Tomate lies close to the heart of the Catalan way of life. They have a passion for this simple food which is unrivaled. It is often the first thing brought to the table and is a classic served with ham, cheeses and pickles or with barbecued foods. Famous Catalan chefs have made their own versions from Carles Gaig’s fresh tomato pulp in a cone of crispy bread to Ferran Adria’s tomato ice cream with a wafer-thin bubble of pastry. I served this with a toothpick of serrano jamon, manchego cheese & a grape tomato!
1/2 lb. ciabatta or coarse country white bread, preferably sourdough
4 cloves garlic, halved, optional
4 small ripe tomatoes, about 1/3 lb
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
Salt, optional or used flaked sea salt
- Preheat grill or broiler to high
- Slice the bread on an angle about 1/2 inch thick or less
- Grill or broil the bread on a baking sheet on both sides until light golden brown
- While warm, rub one side of the bread with the garlic, if using.
- Cut each tomato in half. Rub the cut sides of the tomato on top of the toasts until only the skins are left. Discard skins.
- Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt if desired.
- Pile the toasts on a serving platter and serve
Nutrition Note: Tomato contains the carotenoid antioxidant lycopene which helps prevent gastrointestinal cancers. When finishing, use flaked sea salt because you can visualize & limit it more easily.