5 Minute Pan Con Tomate
Spanish tomato bread (vegan recipe)
Pan con Tomate is made with just 5 ingredients and is considered the must-try breakfast staple for those in Spain. Check out our vegan recipe that’s quick and easy to make at home! This recipe can be easily prepared in around 5 minutes!
Breakfast | Tapas | Easy-to-Make Recipe | 5-Minute Recipe | Easy Snack Ideas | Vegan Recipe | Vegan Tapas | Mediterranean Diet | Healthy Recipe
What you’ll need to make Pan con tomate
- 1 large fresh tomato, cut in half
- 60ml good-quality extra-virgin olive oil
- Coarse salt flakes
- 2 cloves of garlic (skin peeled)
- Loaf of fresh bread (sliced thick)
- An oven grill
- A box grater
Tapas for 4 people / 100 grams per person
Prepare 5 minutes
cook 5 minutes
A good coffee or breakfast juice
About This Recipe
Pan con tomate is traditionally a very humble dish. Its pure simplicity and just 5 ingredients allow us to make this dish in just a few minutes and with virtually no cooking necessary! When using the freshest ingredients, this dish really shines and the perfect combination of fresh zesty tomato spread onto toasted bread, drizzled with golden olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. The end result will really send the taste buds to foodie heaven!
Traveling through Spain, you’ll discover the humble pan con tomate served everywhere in many different forms. It is usually served at breakfast time, or as a mid-day snack or tapas, although it’s also not uncommon to find it served alongside a caña later into the evening along many bars in Madrid and Barcelona (the dish is called Pa amb Tomàquet in the latter).
Pan con tomate- Use fresh ingredients
No matter where you have the opportunity to try pan con tomate, there are 5 simple ingredients that go into making it: bread, tomato, olive oil, garlic, and salt. Using the most premium ingredients you can get your hands on is a must!
- Extra-virgin Olive Oil
- Coarse Sea Salt
The key to getting the most flavor out of your tomatoes is to use a fresh variety that’s very ripe and contains plenty of juice. Also, avoid tomatoes that have been refrigerated, as they are more difficult to extract the pulp. Use a tomato variety such as a beefsteak tomato or other large and very ripe tomatoes as they’ll have the sweetest pulp flavor.
Spanish Tomato varieties
For hundreds of years, Spain has had a very healthy relationship with the tomato and they lay homage to the humble fruit in many recipes. The annual La Tomatina festival is one such example; the state-sponsored food fight is held in the Valencian town of Buñol and is a day-long extravaganza of chucking tonnes of fruit at anyone nearby!
Besides throwing the fruit in a jovial display of affection, the humble tomato is cherished in many recipes in Spanish cooking. Besides pan con tomate, there are few other recipes that demand such good quality tomatoes used as a base ingredient (Gazpacho would be one).
From the Spanish mountainous zones of the north to the warm fertile plains of Andalusia, Spanish tomato cultivation is on par with a national pastime and included hundreds of varieties. Here are a few to look out for in your local greengrocer or supermarket.
With its lobed appearance and peculiar shape, the Montserrat tomato is as full-flavored and juicy as you can get. Hailing from the Catalonia region, it is grown abundantly throughout Spain, but can be more difficult to source elsewhere.
The fruit has a sensational juicy flavor that when combined with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt, the combination is irresistible.
Raf (on-vine) tomatoes
Raf tomatoes are found almost everywhere and are usually sold on the vine. When ripe, they’re juicy, sweet, and packed full of flavor, making their pulp ideal for use in the pan con tomate recipe.
Plum and baby-plum tomatoes
If you’re looking to use the healthiest tomatoes, then baby plum tomatoes are an excellent choice. Plum and baby-plum tomatoes are usually bright red, very sweet, and oval-shaped and can be easily found in local grocery stores the world over. As these are considerably smaller than normal tomatoes, be careful grating them for the pulp.
Another tomato with excellent nutritional value (they’re all pretty good, to be honest) is the Buffalo tomato. They are large, bright red, and often carry a slightly meaty flesh that full of flavor and nutrients.
Hanging Tomatoes from Catalonia
Hanging tomatoes (or tomaquets de penjar in Catalan) are commonly grown in Alcalà de Xivert, where they are then strung into tight bundles of 20-30 tomatoes. These bundles can then be kept fresh for anywhere up to 6 months to a year after harvest. They are extra juicy and protected by a thick skin.
Use extra-virgin olive oil
Using the best quality extra-virgin olive oil will yield optimum results for pan con tomate, after all, there are only 5 ingredients and no cooking involved so the trick here is to ensure each ingredient is of the best quality you can find!
The main difference between standard olive oil and extra-virgin olive oil is most noticeable in the taste and color. Extra-virgin olive oil is a much deeper color and varies from a golden hue to a lighter green color. Extra-virgin olive oil also retains more of the pure olive taste, with many varieties often having a slight peppery finish.
Extra-virgin olive oil also has lower levels of acid that can add a bitter taste, and most importantly, contains more of the natural vitamins and minerals found in olives.
The best bread for pan con tomate
Bread resonates a sense of pride with the Spanish and there are a few different schools of thought on what bread makes the best pan con tomate. Some will swear by thor local artisanal white bread that’s freshly baked by the village baker.
Others prefer more hearty bread, with some going for wholemeal-styled loaves. Some even use sliced stale bread that’s lightly grilled to get that extra crunch in their morning dose of pan con tomate.
I prefer to use either fresh white ciabatta when making pan con tomate. Either way, the fresher the better! If you can bake your own bread, you’ll notice the difference fresh bread makes!
I usually only lightly toast it under the grill for a couple of minutes right before serving. That way, the delicious olive oil will melt into the soft center of the bread. Soft warm bread also allows for an opportunity to mop up any oil and topping left on the plate.
Looking for More Vegetarian or Vegan Tapas Recipes?
Nutrition & Diet
Pan con tomate (Spanish tomato bread) is an excellent example of a nutritious and healthy breakfast dish that’s inspired by ingredients from the Mediterranean diet.
Using brown bread that’s prepared from 100% whole wheat is high in fiber and ideal for good health.
Olive oil is incredibly healthy and full of antioxidants. It benefits your heart, joints, and brain and is potentially the healthiest fat on Earth!
- Protein 10% 10%
- Carbs 12% 12%
- Total Fat 21% 21%
Pan con tomate (Spanish tomato bread)
- An oven grill
- A box grater
- 1 large fresh tomato cut in half
- 60 ml good-quality extra-virgin olive oil
- Coarse salt flakes
- 2 cloves of garlic skin peeled
- Loaf of fresh bread sliced thick
- (Serves 4-6 slices)
Step 1 - Grate tomato
- Turn on the oven grill to 250°C/482°F.
- First, Slice tomatoes in half, grate the tomato and peel the garlic cloves.1 large fresh tomato, 2 cloves of garlic
- Cut the peeled garlic clove in half and set it aside for use later.2 cloves of garlic
Step 2 - Prepare bread
- Slice Ciabatta in slices lengthwise using a sharp bread knife. Add to the grill for 2-3 minutes.Important note: be sure to set a timer, grills will toast the bread very fast so only allow around 2 minutes before checking! Remove bread immediately once lightly toasted.Loaf of fresh bread
Step 3 - Prepare pan con tomate
- Drizzle or use a basting brush to coat your toasted bread with a little olive oil.60 ml good-quality extra-virgin olive oil
- Rub the top of the bread with the piece of garlic.2 cloves of garlic
- Add a spoonful of the grated tomato.1 large fresh tomato
- Sprinkle with salt and add another drizzle of olive oil and serve!Coarse salt flakes
Storage:Refrigerate any unused grated tomato in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Pan con Tomate Cooking Tips and FAQs
Is Pan con Tomate vegan?
Yes, just make sure you use vegan bread and you’ve got yourself a 100% vegan-friendly breakfast or snack.
What do you need to make Pan con Tomate?
Making Pan con Tomate requires an oven grill and a box grater.
How long does Pan con Tomate take to make?
- Preparation time: 2 minutes
- Cook time: 2-3 minutes (depending on your grill)
- Total time: 5 minutes
What does Pan con Tomate go with?
This recipe is usually served as breakfast or a small snack during the day. Some places in Spain may serve this dish as a tapas.