I don’t really remember if I have mentioned this before, but I spent my second year of college studying abroad in Spain. It was a life-changing and calorie-absorbing experience full of moments of feeling like an idiot for not saying Spanish words or phrases correctly, and learning to appreciate the Spaniards’ love of chocolate (they treat it like Americans treat their peanut butter). There were a lot of foods I didn’t like – not a huge fan of turrón (unless it’s made out of chocolate) – but there were many that I did enjoy.
One such food that I fell in love with the moment I tried it was pan con tomate, meaning literally bread with tomato. It’s essentially a Spanish bruschetta, and is just as easy to make with only a handful of ingredients. Despite its simplicity, it is filled with flavor and perfect for those summer tomatoes, and in minutes you’ll be enjoying your own slice of Spanish deliciousness.
Pan con Tomate
- 2 pounds fresh tomatoes
- 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- Olive oil
- European-style bread (try making ciabatta bread)
First, you’ll need to grate your tomatoes. If you have a cheese grater, you can slice your tomatoes down the middle and grate them until you get to the skin (you do not want to include the skins in this dish).
Otherwise, what you will need to do is peel the tomatoes and roughly chop them up in a food processor. The way I am able to quickly peel tomatoes is to drop a tomato in boiling water for about 20-30 seconds (try not to cook the tomatoes!), take it out and run it under cold tap water, then pull the peel away. It’s really easy and you’ll get the hang of it pretty quickly.
In my food processor, I used the grater attachment, and I quickly pulsed the tomatoes through.
Once this is done, chop up or mince your garlic and add that and your salt to your tomatoes in a large bowl.
Toast a slice of bread, then pour a little olive oil on top. Spread one or two spoonfuls of tomato mixture on top, and then sprinkle with additional salt (if it needs it). That’s it!
You can also let your tomato mixture marinate and cool for a couple of hours in the refrigerator before serving to allow the flavors to mix together more. But if you can’t resist, then dig right in – you won’t regret it.
What is your favorite way to use summer tomatoes?