Pan con Tomate
In the late summer, when tomatoes are peaking, we try to eat tomato toast every day. A little olive oil, a little salt and pepper, a slab of good bread — it’s heavenly, but we’re here to say that Spanish pan con tomate, while nearly as simple, is a million times better.
We grate the tomatoes into a juicy pulp and toss it with garlic, olive oil, sherry vinegar, and plenty of salt and pepper. It tastes bright and garlicky, and it has all the tomatoes’ herbaceousness. We love the toasty, sweet depth the vinegar adds and how the salt complements the acids. Scoop it onto a piece of crispy, golden toast, and it’s addictive.
Pan con tomate makes a splendid appetizer. It pairs beautifully with a red wine, and whether we make it for book group or happy hour, it’s always the first thing to run out — people are momentarily surprised by how simple and good it is, and then they just gobble it up.
In fact, we sometimes like to make a double batch, just so we can have some left over for breakfast the next day. It’s out of this world with a fried egg!
Servings: 6 to 8
4 to 6 beefsteak tomatoes, ends trimmed
2 cloves garlic, peeled
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for bread
1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
1 loaf French bread, sliced
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400º.
Using a box grater, grate the tomatoes into a medium bowl, discarding the skins.
Using a microplane grater, grate the garlic cloves into the bowl.
Add the olive oil and sherry vinegar, season with salt and pepper, and stir to combine.
Arrange the bread slices on a sheet pan, drizzle them with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Roast the bread in the oven for 7 minutes, or until just crispy.
Spoon the tomato mixture onto the warm toast and serve immediately.