My Catalan Tomato Bread is using a fresh scratch baked Dutch oven farmer’s bread, however, a great store purchased farmers bread will work just fine. Once considered a poor man’s meal Catalan Tomato Bread is a winner in regards to flavor and simplicity.
The first time pan con tomate was mentioned was in 1884, in the context of a Catlin farmer’s house where tomatoes were spread on days old bread with olive oil and garlic to make it soft again so you could eat it. Today, many people toast the bread, take a ripe tomato cut it in half and mash, squeeze the tomato over the bread. I take my tomato and grate with a box cutter to get all the great juices and then spread over toasted or grilled bread to soften the bread. The Catalan Tomato Bread is drizzled with some extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt and voilà! we have the perfect lunch or snack. I like to top my tomato bread with a slice of Burrata or even canned tuna, or serve it with a green salad.
To make a great pan con tomate, select your ingredients very careful: ripe tomatoes, a great farmers bread, the best olive oil you can purchase, sea salt and garlic. During this time of the year, you will find awesome tomatoes at your local farmers market, so take advantage of the season and the availability of great tomatoes.