Pan Con Tomate

This recipe came about as an alternative to cheese-on-toast. It was an instant success. The flavours remind me of summer breakfasts in Spain, with crusty bread, tomato pulp, and olive oil. Simplicity and perfection combined. But be sure to use the right kind of fleshy tomatoes for this to work well, as my Aunt Finella (second cousin to be more precise) advised, only Italian tomatoes will do, and only the very best. Do not try this recipe with wasserbombes. If the tomatoes happen to look too wet after preparing them, leave them to drip in a fine-mesh sieve until it reaches a pulp-like consistency.

4-6 thick slices of crusty farmhouse bread
500 g (1 pound) roma, beefsteak, or other fleshy tomatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
Fresh basil leaves for garnish

  • Preheat the oven and oil a baking tray.
  • Thick-slice the bread and brush generously with olive oil. Place on the baking tray.
  • Cut the tomatoes in half, and grate the flesh with a coarse box grater until only the peel remains. Or, score the tomatoes, cover with boiling water, and wait for the peel to split, about 3 minutes. Peel, chop and push through a Mouli. (
  • Put the bread into the oven for about 10-15 minutes, until it gets crispy and starts to brown underneath.
  • Remove from the oven and put 1–2 tablespoons of tomato pulp on each slice. Drizzle with olive oil and sea salt flakes, and garnish with fresh basil leaves. Serve immediately.

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