Tomato-Rubbed Bread (Pa Amb Tomàqet)

All you need are 5 easy ingredients to make traditional Catalan Tomato-Rubbed Bread (Pan Con Tomate), this wonderfully fresh and delicious appetizer that goes with any tapas dinner! |

Oh my goodness, you guys…Barcelona.  ?

We’ve only been home from our trip to Spain for a little over two weeks, but I would seriously pack up my bags and head back over again in a heartbeat.  This city absolutely stole my heart.

And based on a quick scroll through the dozens of photos on my phone, the incredible food definitely did as well.  ?

I mean, not that that came as any sort of surprise.  I literally can still remember the sights and smells and tastes of my favorite dishes I tried in Barcelona the last time I was there, about four years ago, down to the most specific of details.  Which — for a girl who can’t remember what she had for lunch two days ago — says something.  So the second I dropped off my bags at my hotel (sadly sans Barclay, who was delayed a day after forgetting his passport, whoops), I absolutely couldn’t wait to head out into those bustling, beautiful streets in search of the tapas that had made such an impression on me years ago.  I’ll admit — a part of me was nervous that I had idealized (and maybe romanticized) the city so much in my memory that it wouldn’t live up to expectations, and that the food would be good but maybe not great.

But oh Barcelona, you did not disappoint.

Meal, after meal, after meal, after yet another delicious meal there, Barclay and I absolutely fell in love with the flavors of Spain.  I’ve always joked that I’m a “tapas girl” with any kind of cuisine anyway, since I much prefer to try bites of everyone else’s meals than stay focused on a single dish of my own, and I love it when food comes out on a staggered timeline whenever it’s ready instead of every dish being served at once.  But man, I was amazed at how consistently awesome the flavors were in all of the tapas we had.  And the paella.  And the wine.  (Oh my goodness, the wine.)  It was all just totally my palate — fresh, bold, savory, a little spicy at times, and all totally beautiful and delicious.  We tried everything from the traditional favorites to the fun modern twists on things, and enjoyed it all.

But guys, I’ve gotta tell you, one of our surprise favorites of the trip was this magical bread.

In Catalan, it’s called pa amb tomàqet.  Or in Spanish, pan con tomate.  Or in English, bread with tomato.  And it’s literally just that — toasted bread, rubbed with fresh tomato, drizzled with olive oil, and a pinch of salt.  Seriously the simplest thing ever, but as Barclay and I agreed, also one of the best things ever.  We couldn’t get enough of it, and kept ordering (and thus, regularly spoiling our appetites with) it just about everywhere we went.  And it made us ridiculously happy.

So of course, the first thing I did when I got home was toast up a fresh batch for us with a glass of rioja.  And then of course, had to share it with you amigos.  ?

This Spanish Tomato-Rubbed Bread recipe is SUPER quick and easy to make, and so fresh and delicious! |

Those of you who regularly eat tapas may have had this one before.  But — as our Barcelonan friends explained to us — pan con tomate is actually prepared differently around the different regions of Spain.  Apparently in the South of the country (near Madrid, etc.), it’s traditional to make a much thicker tomato puree and spread that with a spoon all over the top of crusty bread, which also sounds delicious.  But in Catalonia (especially in Barcelona), it’s traditional to literally just rub the tomato on the crusty bread, so that a simple light layer covers and soaks into the top of the bread.

But in both areas, good toasted bread, garlic, olive oil and flaky sea salt are also involved.  ?

So to make the bread Catalan-style, simply toast up whatever size and kind of bread slices you have on hand.  (Bread that is a few days old actually works best for this kind of toast!)  Then once the slices are hot out of the toaster (or oven), rub a (whole) garlic clove all over the top of each slice.  Then drizzle the slice with olive oil, rub the cut-side of a halved fresh tomato all over the slice, sprinkle with flaky sea salt (and fresh herbs, if you’d like)…and serve nice and warm.


Spanish Tomato-Rubbed Bread (Pan Con Tomate) is ultra-quick and easy to make, and full of the best fresh flavors! Perfect as an appetizer or side for any weeknight dinner! |

Like I said, it truly is the simplest thing ever, and only takes a few minutes to prepare.  But my goodness, it hits the spot every single time.

(Seriously, I feel like those Europeans are onto something with all of their amazing bread and wine with every meal…?)

Catalan Tomato-Rubbed Bread (Pa Amb Tomàqet) is incredibly easy to make, and full of the most delicious fresh flavors! |

Hope that you can give it a try soon, and enjoy a little taste of Spain in your home as well.  ?

And stay tuned — I’m hoping to get all of these photos edited and share lots more about our trip with you guys next week!  So many amazing places to recommend if it’s on your traveling bucket list!

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Tomato-Rubbed Bread (Pa Amb Tomàquet)

This tomato-rubbed bread recipe (known as “Pa Amb Tomàquet” in Catalan in Spain) is a delicious appetizer super quick and easy to prepare, and full of the best fresh flavors!


  • bread slices
  • peeled (whole) garlic cloves, halved
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • fresh tomatoes (any kind), halved
  • flaky sea salt
  • optional extra toppings: chopped fresh basil, parsley, or chives


  1. Toast the bread slices either in a toaster, or by baking them in the oven at 400°F (turning once) until the slices are golden on both sides.  (Baking time will totally depend on the type and thickness of your bread, so just keep an eye on the slices and flip once they are golden on each side.)  Remove from oven and transfer the sheet to a wire baking rack.
  2. Immediately rub the cut-side of the garlic cloves all over the top of each slice.
  3. Drizzle the top each slice with olive oil (or you can do this after rubbing the tomatoes).  Then immediately rub the cut-side of the fresh tomatoes all over the top of each bread slice, and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt.
  4. Serve immediately.
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Spanish Tomato-Rubbed Bread (Pan Con Tomate) is ultra-quick and easy to make, and full of the best fresh flavors! Perfect as an appetizer or side for any weeknight dinner! |

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26 comments on “Tomato-Rubbed Bread (Pa Amb Tomàqet)”

  1. Ah, Barcelona. How I’d love to go someday! I love tomatoes and anything tomato-flavoured though, so this recipe should be good!

    Charmaine Ng

  2. Mmmmm. We had a version in Pamplona. I look forward to trying this one!

  3. Looks delicious! I  made your slow-cooker curried lentils last night for the third time. I’m going to make this to go with the leftovers later. Thanks for all the tasty food!

  4. Love this!! I could seriously live in Barcelona.

  5. In culinary arts school, a chef from Malta, Italy showed us a similar recipe. It was their regional version of bruschetta. It was basically the same. Grilled bread rubbed with garlic and tomatoes. The best snack. Thanks for reminding me!

  6. This makes me so happy. I lived in Spain for a time and this is such a throwback. Best meal ever! Thanks for sharing, Ali! :)

  7. I am still sick of tomatoes from our cruise last year, but even so, this bread sounds wonderful.  What I want to know is, where in Barcelona did you get good paella?  We had some at a  Turkish restaurant on La Rambla that made wonderful falafel, but bombed with the paella.  (We did find excellent paella in Cádiz, though).  We’ll be in Barcelona in late April and would love to find some good paella there.  I’m glad you had such a good time there and that the city did not disappoint.  IMO it’s a wonderful city.

  8. LOVE Spain and especially Barcelona. Another best snack food is tortilla de patatas. :) I am so happy eating it room temp w rubbed bread. Heaven.

  9. Wow – this looks so yummy. x

  10. Absolutely loved Barcelona !!  Yummy Bread !!

  11. Love your post today! I felt in love too with Barcelona the FOOD, the people, the city is just an amazing place to visit. This pan and tomato is the perfect dish to summarize one of the distinct flavors of Barcelona. Thank you for sharing and my mouth is just watering looking at your pictures.

  12. Cool! I’ve never heard of this before. Pinning it now =)

  13. Such a simple meal! I loved Barcelona too – it’s so beautiful! Glad you soaked it all in :)

  14. You wanna enjoy the world’s best food? Go to Spain, vamos!

  15. Can’t wait for your Barcelona recommendations! Heading there on our honeymoon in a few months :)

  16. oh this is so funny and interesting! I’m Polish who lives is Barcelona (for a second time) and while I do feel great here the food…well the food mostly make me sad. It’s not about flavors – those are ok but quality of available products (like bread which is uneatable after one day, dry pastries which taste like nothing ) and some weird phobia of veggies that most Spaniards I know seem to have :) Weird because there’s plenty of awesome fruits and veggies here in great prices. I guess it’s a different thing when you come only for a short time but also maybe I’m completely spoiled hihihi.

    Btw love your blog – I’m a long time reader but not much of comments writer ups. congratulation on your engagement!

    • Thanks for your sweet words, Monika — we’re so glad to hear you enjoy the blog! :)

  17. Thanks for a delicious recipe! It provided me dinner for several nights in a row, I couldn’t get enough. Please see the review on my blog:

  18. Easy and good!!! I love toast!

    Rating: 4