Born and currently residing in Barcelona, Esther loves to discover new restaurants and coffee shops, where to enjoy a delicious meal or a wonderful cake.
Passionate about learning new things, from makeup to ancient history, Esther especially loves studying foreign languages. She is fluent in French, English, and Japanese. Nowadays, Esther is deciding what language to learn next!
There is a recipe that virtually everyone in Catalonia has prepared at least once. You can find it at any restaurant, bar or even home. But the best thing about it if you want to try it as well – you will only need three or four simple ingredients. I’m talking about “Pa amb tomàquet,” which can be literally translated as “bread with tomato.”
It must be said that this dish is also often served in other parts of Spain, like Majorca, Valencia or Aragon, however, it is mostly considered a Catalan staple.
The ingredient list is short:
- Bread – the best kind is a peasant bread, but baguette can be used as well. Please note – sandwich bread won’t work for this recipe
- Tomato – there are different kinds of tomatoes used for this, but any red ripe tomato will do
- Olive oil – better if it’s the virgin or extra virgin variety
- Garlic (optional)
How to make the Pa amb Tomàquet
1. If you are using a peasant bread, first you will need to cut in into slices. If you are using a baguette, you can split it in half. Some people like toasting the bread, but it’s really optional.
2. Cut the tomato in half and then rub it against the center, until the bread turns red.
3. Lastly, pour some olive oil and add some salt.
4. Some people like to add garlic as well. If you’d like to use garlic, you must cut it in half and then rub it against the bread before the tomato.
And that’s it.
Now that you have your “pa amb tomàquet” ready – what can you do with it? Some eat it like that, for example – for breakfast or as a side dish (it’s a very typical garnish for omelets). You can also put something extra on top of the bread, like cured ham, grilled vegetables, anchovies… And then consume it like an open sandwich. Also, if you use a baguette – you can make multiple sandwiches.
Lastly, when you are dining at a bar or a restaurant in Catalonia, and you want a cold sandwich – it’s almost 100% guaranteed that the bread will be rubbed with tomato. In addition, the waiter will surely ask you: “Bread with tomato, right?.” My recommendation is to always say yes.