Can’t think of a better way to take advantage of and enjoy a juicy, vine-ripened, summer tomato than in Pan con Tomate (Spanish-style toast with tomato).
The beauty of Pan con Tomate, the simplicity and freshness of its ingredients.
You don’t need fancy heirloom tomatoes (of course, if you happen to have some on hand, by all means use). Any standard garden variety tomato will do — provided the tomato is juicy, flavorful, and in season. Never mind attempting this dish in the winter, when all you can find are bland, tasteless tomatoes shipped in from who knows where.
Pan con Tomate doesn’t require much prep. All you need is a box grater to grate the tomatoes. I like to load my grilled toasts up with plenty of tomato (the more the better in my book). Take advantage of tomatoes when they’re at their peak.
In addition to tomatoes, you’ll need: some nice crusty bread that you can grill, a clove or two of garlic for rubbing on the toasted bread, and some quality extra virgin olive oil to finish the dish. It’s that easy.
Anchovies (anchoa) are optional, but highly recommended. Alternatively, you could top with some thinly sliced Jamón Serrano or, better still, Jamon Iberico, yum!
If omitting the anchovies or ham, I recommend finishing with a sprinkling of flaky (such as Maldon) sea salt.
I remember having Pan con Tomate y Anchoa on numerous occasions in Spain and (Southern) France. Ahh, this brings back wonderful memories of vacations’ past. Not surprising, many of my fondest memories are tied in with food 🙂
These are the anchovies I used (procured on a trip to Collioure, France), but any anchovy (salt-cured or packed in oil) will work.
Don’t like anchovies, that’s okay. Pan con Tomate is good with or without anchovies.
Sadly, am running low on these plump anchovies, which are difficult to find in NYC. Perhaps a trip to Spain and/or France to replenish my stock is in order.
The tomatoes, simply grated (skins discarded)….
I brushed the bread with olive oil and then grilled it on a grill pan on the stove top. Thereafter, rubbed the bed with a clove of garlic.
Served with a plateful of pan-fried Padron peppers, even better…
Pan con Tomate (y Anchoa)
Below quantities are a rough guide; you can make as little or as much as you like
2 large ripe tomatoes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 to 6 slices thick cut crusty bread
Extra virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove, peeled
*Anchovies (optional); 2 fillets per toast
thinly sliced Spanish (Serrano or Iberico) ham (optional)
Slice the tomato in half. Grate the tomatoes, on the cut side, on a box grater (largest grate). Discard the tomato skins. Scoop the tomato pulp into a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat a grill pan. Brush both sides of the bread with olive oil. Grill the bread, flip and grill the other side. Alternatively, you could toast the bread under the broiler or even in a skillet. While still warm, rub one side of the bread with the garlic clove. Top this side with the grated tomato and either anchovies or Serrano ham, if using.
Finish with a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
*To clean salt-cured anchovies: Rinse under cool water to remove the excess salt. Remove the bone from the center of the fish (you now have two fillets). Rinse the fillets to remove any excess skin or bones. I like to let them soak for ~10 minutes in a bowl of cool water to remove any excess salt. Pat dry before using.