A few years ago we were on our honeymoon in Spain. After a night of heavy drinking and revelling with the locals in Sevilla, we had an early morning flight to Barcelona. After the flight, a crowded city bus, and a half mile walk to the hotel, we were hurting and in need of some serious refreshments. As luck would have it, we arrived in the middle of siesta, the no-man’s land between lunch and dinner, when restaurants close and Spaniards nap. Greg went out on a mission and came back from a bodega with Pan con Tomate… and it was heavenly.
Made with only five ingredients, this snack has a complexity that belies its rustic preparation. Grilled bread is rubbed with garlic, then tomato, and then drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt. The raw garlic tastes almost spicy, and melts into the craggy bread. Ripe, juicy tomatoes are essential. Complete the feast with Spain’s famed Iberico ham, Manchego cheese, and black olives.
Pan Con Tomate
1 Baguette, cut in half, lengthwise
Several garlic cloves, halved
2 to 3 tomatoes, halved horizontally
Extra-Virgin olive oil
coarse sea salt
1. Heat a grill to medium hot. Toast the bread, cut side down until crispy and golden brown.
2. Rub the bread with the garlic cloves, and then the tomato. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt. Cut into portions and serve warm.