As promised, this week I’ll be sharing the recipes for the great food we enjoyed at My Spanish Style Birthday Party.  So lets start with this simple dish that, although it has its origin in the Catalan region of Spain, it truly is ubiquitous to Tapas Bars all throughout Spain: Pan Con Tomate.

A traditional Pan Con Tomate (Bread with Tomato) from Cataluña, Spain is nothing more than toasted bread that has first been rubbed with the cut side of a clove of garlic. It is then rubbed with the cut side of a tomato, and sprinkled with salt, resulting in delicious bread that looks like this.

Pan Con Tomate | Saveur Magazine |

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The first time I remember eating Pan Con Tomate was in my father’s kitchen. His friend Jose was visiting from Barcelona and wanted to prepare for us a specialty dish from his native Cataluña.  It was memorable because I was really amazed at how much flavor can be generated simply by rubbing garlic and tomato onto a wonderful piece of crusty bread.

My friend John at The Cooking Block where we celebrated my birthday, took some liberties and swayed from the original, making his Pan Con Tomate with some additional ingredients and changing the preparation method as well. While I would argue it was not “authentic”, it was still very good. And, I am sure there are endless interpretations of this classic Tapa.

Pan Con Tomate Recipe |

So, here is how John makes it…

Pan Con Tomate Recipe | From The Cooking Block |

Get yourself a baguette of great, crusty bread.  Slice it in rounds and place it on a large baking sheet.

Pan Con Tomate Recipe |

Cut a large clove of garlic in half and rub each slice of bread with the cut side of garlic. The oil from the garlic will impart a lovely hint of garlic flavor. Then, using good quality extra virgin olive oil, brush each slice of bread with it. Place the bread in the oven (preheated to 325º) and toast just enough to add a little bit of a crunchy texture to the top of the slice.

Pan Con Tomate Recipe |

Next comes the tomatoes. John advises, and I agree, that this dish deserves the best quality ripe tomatoes you can find.  This time of year you might even have some growing in your garden.

Pan Con Tomate Recipe |

Slice the tomatoes, place them on a parchment lined baking sheet and top each one with a thin slice of garlic. Drizzle on some extra virgin olive oil, then sprinkle each slice with Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.

Pan Con Tomate Recipe |

Slow roast the tomatoes at 350° F until they are caramelized.

Pan Con Tomate Recipe |

Top each toasted baguette slice with a slice of roasted tomato.  Sprinkle on a few bits of crumbled feta cheese. Then add a dash of smoked Spanish paprika.

Smoked Spanish Paprika |

The last step is to toss a handful of chopped parsley or basil with a bit of olive oil. Garnish the top with the fresh herbs and voila, you have delicious Tapas for your next cocktail party.

Pan Con Tomate Recipe |

So there you have it: PAN CON TOMATE

Stay tuned for lots more of the recipes from my Spanish Style Birthday Party, coming this week!

Prep time
Cook time
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This recipe comes from John Shrader, Executive Chef of The Cooking Block in Redlands, California. It is his interpretation of a classic dish that originated in Cataluna, Spain.
Recipe type: Tapas
Cuisine: Spanish
  • Crusty Baguette
  • Fresh Garlic Cloves
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • The Best Quality Ripe Tomatoes You Can Find
  • Crumbled Feta Cheese
  • Chopped Flat Leaf Parsley or Chopped Fresh Basil Leaves
  • Kosher Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper
  • Smoked Spanish Paprika
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Slice the baguette into ½" thick rounds and place on a baking sheet.
  3. Slice a large clove of garlic in half and rub it on each piece of bread.
  4. Brush with extra virgin olive oil.
  5. Bake until the top of the bread has a slight crunchy texture.
  6. Slice tomatoes into thin rounds and place on a lined baking sheet.
  7. Place a thin slice of fresh garlic on each tomato slice.
  8. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Kosher salt and pepper.
  9. Slowly roast until the tomato begins to caramelize.
  10. Place tomato slices on the toasted baguette slices.
  11. Top with a sprinkle of crumbled feta cheese.
  12. Sprinkle with a dash of smoked Spanish Paprika.
  13. Toss parsley or basil in a few drops of olive oil.
  14. Place on top of the feta cheese and serve.
John did not provide measurements for this recipe. You can make as little or as much as you need to serve the number of guests you are feeding. ENJOY!

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