Tomato Bread

November 1, 2018


Recipe excerpted from Spain © 2018, Emily Lycopolus. Recipe

and images by DL Acken reprinted with the permission of Touch

Wood Editions.  


About Tomato Bread Pan con Tomate


The simplest of dishes somehow always ends up being the most

delicious. It’s generally believed that this Catalonian dish was

originally created to liven up stale bread and use up extra-juicy



A special bread called pan de cristal (literally, crystal bread),

has extra-airy pockets for more tomato-soaking-up potential,

and tomatoes specifically grown for the express purpose of

rubbing  onto freshly toasted bread, are traditionally used in

Catalonia, where it goes by the name pa amb tomàquet.


Ingredients, Serves Four


The ingredient list is very small, so do use the best ingredients

you can: 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 (try Picual for a

dish to remember!).


4 large slices (each 3/4–1 inch thick) bread, or square ciabatta


4 Tbsp robust extra virgin olive oil

4 fresh Roma tomatoes, halved

sea salt

Keep the leftover tomato skins to add to vegetable stock for

extra flavor and a touch of color.

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

flavor combinations.


Preheat the broiler or grill.


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.


For more of Emily's recipes from Spain click HERE




Print Article

Leave a Comment