On a recent visit to Spain, one of the highest items on our priority list was eating when, where and what the locals did. On our first night in Barcelona we happily discovered the wonders of pan con tomate or pa amb tomaquet in Catalan (simply translated “bread with tomato”).
In its most rustic form there are four simple ingredients: sliced bread, raw garlic, fresh tomatoes and olive oil. At Los Bellota, these items were delivered in a basket for a do-it-yourself snack alongside the most amazing jamón ibérico (Iberico ham). First, rub the bread with the garlic clove and then with the tomato until there is nothing left but the skin. Disgard the skin, drizzle with olive oil and enjoy.
Many restaurants in Barcelona serve the bread pre-prepared and our favorite was delivered at Fidalgo that we topped with both jamón serrano (Serrano ham) and anchovies.
Back home here in Utah, we are still several months away from having wonderful, ripe tomatoes so I created this roasted version of tomato bread that’s heavier on tomato to enjoy during the early summer months while I relive our adventures in Barcelona.
Because I wanted to roast grape tomatoes to bring out some additional flavor, my version of this bread is best prepared using the roasted garlic bread from Costco’s bakery for a more subtle, sweeter combination with the roasted tomatoes.
If using a plain baguette, roast a head of garlic in the oven while roasting the tomatoes and spread the bread with roasted garlic before the roasted tomatoes.
- 1 loaf of roasted garlic bread from Costco, sliced (may substitute with baguette cut into 4-inch lengths after being halved)
- 20-30 grape tomatoes halved lengthwise
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. sea salt
Heat the oven to 250 degrees. Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise and place in a mixing bowl. Add the olive oil and salt and mix well. Place the coated tomatoes on a cookie sheet and roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes until the skins begin to shrivel. Remove from oven and set aside.
Turn the oven to broil. Cut the roasted garlic bread into ¾ inch slices. Drizzle each piece lightly with olive oil and broil until lightly browned. Remove from oven.
Assemble tomato bread by spooning the roasted tomatoes onto the bread. Sprinkle with a dash of sea salt if needed or desired and enjoy warm.