Tomato Rubbed Bread - Pan con Tomate

Published : 03/19/2015 15:24:14
Categories : Eatapas Suggestions , Recipes


Bread rubbed with tomato is an extremely popular, inexpensive and simple combination of typical Mediterranean products. Its proper preparation may make it a real delicacy.

Tomato was introduced in Europe in the 16th century by the Spanish explorers of the new world. However its use in Catalonia, where “Pa amb Tomaquet” is said to have originated, was still low in the 19th century. Tomatoes were used in just a few recipes. Hence, Pa amb Tomaquet is a really recent recipe and a tradition of less than 2 centuries.

It is quintessential in the Catalan gastronomy. The first written reference to Pa amb Tomaquet dates back to 1884, although the combination of bread, tomato and olive oil had already widespread along the Mediterranean costs for a long time.

Originally it was the typical farmers’ meal over the summer period. By eating Pa amb Tomaquet they could endure hunger until dinnertime. Bread was made once every 7 to 10 days and went stale quickly. By rubbing tomatoes over bread they achieved to revive it and make it more pleasant.



- Boule Bread, Sourdough Bread, Ciabatta Bread or Catalan Coca, better if handmade. Bread may slightly toasted, grilled or even natural.

 - Perfectly ripe Vine Tomatoes. When tomato is rubbed over bread, its pulp gradually falls apart and it remains just the skin. Bread should be soaked but not wet.

- Natural Salt as a flavour enhancer.

- Extra Virgin Olive Oil of Arbequina or Picual variety.



1. Cut bread into 1 cm. thick slices.

2. Halve tomatoes crosswise and rub bread with cut side of a tomato half. Although many people chop tomatoes, mix them in a bowl with olive oil and salt and then spread the mixture over bread, this is not the correct procedure. For those who like spicy flavours, rub bread with garlic before spreading tomato.

3. Drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Olive oil must be added slowly so that it seeps through the bread crumbs.

4. Sprinkle with salt.

A well done and tasty “Pa amb Tomàquet” needs to be savoured right after having prepared it. Only the best ingredients must be chosen.

“Pa amb Tomàquet” pairs particularly well with ham, charcuterie, cheese, albacore tunaSpanish omelette and anchovies but can be topped also with grilled meat or vegetables.



bon appétit



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