Pan con Tomate (Grilled Bread with Tomato)

Crusty, grilled bread topped with freshly grated tomato, garlic, olive oil and sea salt. Pan con Tomate is the quintessential Spanish tapa and the perfect way to showcase peak-season summer tomatoes.

Two halves of toasted bread topped with tomato puree, olive oil and spanish anchovy.

The summer before my senior year of high school I conned my parents into sending me to Spain for a Spanish language immersion program. Whether not my Spanish improved is debatable. The food however, left a lasting impression.

Pan con Tomate (bread with tomato) is a simple Catalan tapa or snack made with toasted bread topped with a mixture of garlic, tomato, olive oil, and salt. It is a classic example of how a few simple ingredients can be transformed into something truly spectacular.

Pan con Tomate can be made one of two different ways:

  • The first method is to take warm, toasted bread (usually day-old), rub it with a raw garlic clove then slice half a tomato and rub the cut side generously onto each slice.
  • The second method is the one outlined in this post. Rather than rubbing the tomato into the bread, the tomato is grated with a box grater to produce a tomato pulp that is seasoned and spooned over the the bread.

Neither method is right or wrong. I’ve personally become more fond of grating the tomatoes. It’s easier, in my opinion, and you get a higher ratio of tomato to bread.

Pan con Tomate is a perfect snack all on it’s own or it can be accompanied by slices of Iberico ham, Spanish anchovies, or a slice of Manchego cheese.

Hungry for more Spanish Tapas? Check out: Oven-Roasted Patatas Bravas with Smokey Tomato Aioli

Ingredients You’ll Need:

Scroll to the bottom of the recipe card for ingredient notes and substitutions.

Half a loaf of bread, a bunch of three ripe tomatoes on the vine, a bottle of olive oil, a bulb of garlic and a bowl of flakey sea salt.

Recipe Step by Step:

Step 1. Grill the Bread

You can grill or toast the bread any way you like; under a broiler, over a grill or in a cast iron pan. Just make sure to get it nice and golden brown – preferably with a little char around the edges.

A bowl of tomato puree, grated garlic and olive oil on a marble tabletop.

Step 2. Grate the Tomatoes

Grate the tomatoes on the largest holes of a box grater. Don’t over-grate or blend the tomatoes, you want the mixture to be chunky, not smooth. Season the tomato pulp with grated garlic, olive oil, salt and a splash of sherry vinegar. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. Depending on the ripeness and flavor of your tomatoes you may need to add a bit more salt or vinegar to balance out the flavors.

Two halves of toasted bread with tomato on top and a drizzle of olive oil on a white plate.

Step 3. Serve

To serve, top each piece of grilled bread with a few spoonfuls of the tomato mixture. Serve right away.

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Two halves of toasted bread topped with tomato puree, olive oil and spanish anchovy.

Pan con Tomate (Grilled Bread with Tomato)

Crusty, grilled bread topped with freshly grated tomato, garlic, olive oil and sea salt. Pan con Tomate is the quintessential Spanish tapa and a perfect way to showcase peak-season summer tomatoes.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 145kcal


  • 4 thick slices good quality bread like a country loaf, ciabatta, sourdough, baguette etc.
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 3-4 tbsp good quality olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sherry vinegar optional
  • salt


  • Drizzle the bread lightly with olive oil. Under a broiler or in a preheated cast iron pan, toast the bread, turning a few times, until the surfaces are golden brown and slightly charred.
  • Meanwhile, slice the tomatoes in half horizontally. Place a box grater into a large bowl. Rub the cut faces of the tomatoes over the large holes of the grater, using the flattened palm of your hand to move the tomatoes back and forth. The flesh of the tomatoes should be grated off, while the skin remains intact in your hand. Discard the skin.
  • Use a microplate to grate the garlic into the tomato pulp mixture. Season with a pinch of salt, sherry vinegar and a drizzle of olive oil – about 2 tablespoons.
  • Spoon the tomato mixture over the warm toasted bread. Serve right away.


Ingredient Notes and Substitutions:
  • Bread: The best bread for pan con tomate is a crusty bread with a lot of flavor. Some good options include: country loaf, ciabatta, sourdough or baguette.
  • Tomatoes: Use the ripest tomatoes you can find. Heirlooms are great, “beefsteak” tomatoes are perfect too.
  • Sherry Vinegar: Sherry vinegar is optional but I think it adds a nice kick of acidity to cut through the sweetness of the tomatoes.


Calories: 145kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 0.01mg | Sodium: 11mg | Potassium: 223mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 758IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 0.4mg
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