Pan Con Tomate

Pan con tomate (“bread with tomato”) is an easy Spanish tapas recipe! It’s quite possibly the best way to use…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

Pan con tomate (“bread with tomato”) is an easy Spanish tapas recipe! It’s quite possibly the best way to use a ripe tomato…period.

Pan Con Tomate

Got a ripe summer tomato? Here’s quite possibly one of the best ways to use it…in the world. Try Pan Con Tomate, a Spanish tapas recipe with only a few ingredients but immeasurably massive flavor. Take one bite and it’s like ingesting the pure soul of a tomato: all its memories of growing plump in the summer sun. This transcendental summer tomato recipe will make you a quick convert.

What is pan con tomate?

Pan con tomate translates to “bread with tomato,” a Spanish dish that consists of toasted bread topped with tomato pulp, garlic and olive oil. It’s served throughout Spain as tapas or a snack, and it’s especially common in Catalan cuisine where it’s called Pa amb tomàquet.

I fell in love with pan con tomate when I lived in Madrid in university, then again when Alex and I visited Spain recently. Many tapas-style restaurants have popped up in the US since then that have imported the concept. It’s important to honor the heritage of this incredible dish: Spanish cuisine, which has also brought us iconic dishes like paella, sangria, gazpacho, and more.

Pan con tomate

Ingredients for pan con tomate

Pan con tomate is one summer’s best concepts: this Spanish recipe uses just 5 ingredients with no real cooking involved! It’s best for when you’ve got a big, juicy summer tomato. One bite, and you’ll be happy dancing with the explosive flavors! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Ripe tomatoes
  • Bread
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Salt

Grill or broil the bread

The bread for pan con tomate can be grilled or toasted in the broiler. Either way, spread the bread slices with a bit of olive oil and salt before cooking it. Here are the pros and cons to each method:

  • Grilled bread: Grilled bread is very traditional and adds a charred flavor. This is best flavor-wise, but it does take time to preheat the grill.
  • Broiled bread: Broiled bread doesn’t have a charred flavor, but it’s quick and easy in the broiler! Broiling gets it nice and crispy, with dark edges.
Pan con tomate

Grate the tomatoes

How to get that beautiful tomato essence in pan con tomate? You’ll grate the tomatoes. Yes, grab a box grater and use the large holes to grate the tomato into a bowl. You’ll feel like you’re destroying it! But take one taste of the pulp, and it will make your tastebuds sing! Season it with a few pinches of kosher salt.

Rub the bread with garlic

The other key to pan con tomate is seasoning the bread with garlic. Unlike a bruschetta where you mince the garlic, with this Spanish tapas recipe you’ll rub the garlic right onto the toast.

  • Peel the garlic and slice it in half.
  • Take the cut side and rub it right onto the bread. You won’t see anything on the bread, and it will feel like you haven’t done anything. But one taste and you’ll see that it’s infused with the intoxicating aroma of fresh garlic!
Pan con tomate

Make pan con tomate right before serving

Take one bite of pan con tomate, and it’s absolute magic: the crunch of the bread, the juicy tomato pulp, and the golden rich drizzle of olive oil. In fact, you’ll want to eat it every day. But here’s the thing: the tomatoes do make the bread soggy over time. So it’s best to eat this treat right away!

If you’re serving this as a tapas appetizer at a party, try to avoid letting it sit out on a table for hours. Pass it around or have people enjoy it right as it comes out of the kitchen. If you want to make it in advance, here’s what to do:

  • Grate the tomatoes and refrigerate the pulp. Bring it to room temperature before serving.
  • Toast the bread and assemble right before serving. You’ll want to keep that bread deliciously crunchy!

More Spanish recipes

If you’ve followed us for a while, you’ll know we love studying traditional Spanish recipes. Here are a few of our favorites to make at home:

This pan con tomato recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free.

Print

Pan Con Tomate


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Pan con tomate (“bread with tomato”) is an easy Spanish tapas recipe! It’s quite possibly the best way to use a ripe tomato…period.


Ingredients

  • 1/2 rustic baguette (8 slices)
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes (1 pound)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Grill or broil the bread: Cut bread into 1/2-inch slices cut on the bias. Place the slices on a baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil onto each slice, followed by a sprinkle of kosher salt. Grill the bread or broil it on high until the bread until toasted and crispy, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. (As a quicker method, you can use a toaster.)
  2. Grate the tomato: Meanwhile, use the large holes of a box grater to grate the tomatoes into a bowl, discarding the skins (you will get about 1 cup pup). Season the grated tomatoes with ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste.
  3. Serve: When the bread is done, rub each piece of bread with the cut side of the garlic (this will infuse a large amount of garlic flavor into the toast). Spoon the tomato pulp onto each slice. Top with a drizzle of olive oil and serve immediately. The bread becomes soggy after a few minutes, so top with the tomatoes directly before serving.
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: Spanish

Keywords: Pan con tomate

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This baba ganoush recipe is so creamy and delicious! A classic Mediterranean dip, it’s perfect for appetizer spreads or healthy snacking. Baba ganoush lovers, unite! This creamy dip is a Lebanese classic with a smoky finish to the flavor that makes it absolutely irresistible for dipping. Turns out, it’s actually very simple to make at home, and a fabulous eggplant recipe for when you’re brainstorming what to do with this vegetable. This specific baba ganoush recipe comes straight from the book Tables and Spreads by Shelly Westerhausen Worcel of Vegetarian Ventures. It’s an incredible collection to help you nosh your way entertaining and happy hour! Here’s how to make it: and more about this fantastic collection. What is baba ganoush? Baba ganoush is a Lebanese eggplant dip made with roasted or grilled eggplant, tahini, olive oil, and lemon. It’s also spelled Baba ghanoush or baba ghanouj. It’s common in cuisines all over the Mediterranean, but it’s Lebanese in origin. While many Greek restaurants serve baba ganoush, the Greek version of eggplant dip is melitzanosalata. What makes baba ganoush taste smoky? Traditionally baba ganoush is made with eggplant that’s been roasted over a fire or grilled, which infuses a light smoky […]

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This baba ganoush recipe is so creamy and delicious! A classic Mediterranean dip, it’s perfect for appetizer spreads or healthy snacking.

Baba ganoush

Baba ganoush lovers, unite! This creamy dip is a Lebanese classic with a smoky finish to the flavor that makes it absolutely irresistible for dipping. Turns out, it’s actually very simple to make at home, and a fabulous eggplant recipe for when you’re brainstorming what to do with this vegetable. This specific baba ganoush recipe comes straight from the book Tables and Spreads by Shelly Westerhausen Worcel of Vegetarian Ventures. It’s an incredible collection to help you nosh your way entertaining and happy hour! Here’s how to make it: and more about this fantastic collection.

Tables and spreads
Keep reading for more about Tables & Spreads — recipe excerpted from the book with permission from Shelly Westerhausen Worcel

What is baba ganoush?

Baba ganoush is a Lebanese eggplant dip made with roasted or grilled eggplant, tahini, olive oil, and lemon. It’s also spelled Baba ghanoush or baba ghanouj. It’s common in cuisines all over the Mediterranean, but it’s Lebanese in origin. While many Greek restaurants serve baba ganoush, the Greek version of eggplant dip is melitzanosalata.

What makes baba ganoush taste smoky? Traditionally baba ganoush is made with eggplant that’s been roasted over a fire or grilled, which infuses a light smoky flavor. The easiest way to make it at home is roasted, so here we’ve added smoked paprika for a hint of the smoke we expect from a baba ganoush recipe!

How to make baba ganoush at home

Now, the best baba ganoush you can have is from a Lebanese restaurant! It’s hard to capture the beauty of this traditional eggplant dip at home. But you can get pretty close! Again, the traditional grilled method is what really takes it over the top (see below). But Shelly’s method from Tables and Spreads is simply delicious and easy to pull off. Just make sure to have enough time to roast or grill the eggplant! Here are the basic steps (or jump to the recipe):

  • Roast or grill the eggplant: This takes about 30 minutes total. On the grill, it depends on the size of the eggplant (see below).
  • Remove the flesh from the skin. Quick tip: to remove bitterness, you can remove some of the very seedy parts of the eggplant when you do this.
  • Food process with the other ingredients. Add tahini, lemon, garlic and spices and blend. We like adding a bit of smoked paprika to get in that smoky flavor.
  • Serve! Then top with all the garnishes: olive oil, walnuts, smoked paprika, parsley, etc! The book has a delicious fried walnuts and pomegranate seeds topping idea (head here to learn more about the book).
Baba ganoush

Alternate method: grilled whole eggplant!

The most traditional way to make a baba ganoush recipe is with eggplant charred over an open flame. The best way to do this is with a grill! Here are a few things to note about making a grilled whole eggplant:

  • Grill it whole over medium high heat. That’s 375 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cook until collapsed and charred, about 25 to 45 minutes depending on the size of the eggplant. Once you’re done, you can pick back up at the blending step.

About the book: Tables & Spreads!

This baba ganoush recipe comes straight from Shelly Westerhausen Worcel’s beautiful new book, Tables & Spreads. The cover claims it’s a go-to guide for beautiful snacks, intimate gathering and inviting feasts: and is it ever! It’s filled with Shelly’s brilliantly colorful photography style (which we adore) and full of incredible ideas for entertaining spreads. Now that we can all gather again, it’s a perfect manual for

Shelly is a dear friend of ours we’ve known for years: so not only do we vouch for her recipes, we know first hand that she’s an overall incredible human, too. The spreads that she puts together are inventive, unique, and perfect for creative at-home entertaining. And just so you know: you don’t have to share them with friends either! There are plenty of ideas for a happy hour dinner in (a fun concept everyone enjoys over here!). Congrats to Shelly on this fantastic collection!

Baba ganoush recipe

What to use for dipping baba ganoush

What to serve with baba ganoush? There are many foods you can use for dipping: but we have a few favorites. Then of course, there’s how to accessorize your spread! The book has this recipe as part of a Falafel Mezze Spread that includes a few items below. Here’s what to try:

  • Pita bread: Doughy, stretchy warm pita bread is the ultimate dipper (try our flatbread)
  • Pita chips: Or, use the crunchy version (here’s a homemade recipe)
  • Falafel: Try our falafel or the falafel patties recipe from the book
  • Israeli couscous with herbs and olive oil (see the book)
  • Greek yogurt mixed with olive oil and fresh herbs (see the book)
  • Vegetables: Cherry tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, red onion, roasted red peppers

Storing leftovers and make ahead info

You can store leftover homemade baba ganoush refrigerated for up to 3 days. We think it’s best made freshly or within the first day. We did notice that during storage over a few days, the baba ganoush started to discolor. If you’re making it for entertaining, we’d suggest to roast the eggplant in advance and keep it whole: then blend up the dip prior to serving.

This baba ganoush recipe is…

Baba ganoush is vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

Print
Baba ganoush

Classic Baba Ganoush


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This baba ganoush recipe is so creamy and delicious! A classic Mediterranean dip, it’s perfect for appetizer spreads or healthy snacking.


Ingredients

  • 2 pounds eggplant (1 large or 2 medium)
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, loosely packed
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • For the topping: Olive oil, chopped walnuts, pomegranate seeds, torn parsley leaves, smoked paprika, etc

Instructions

  1. Roast the eggplant*: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Poke the eggplant all over with a fork to speed up the cooking process and put it on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until the eggplant is easily pierced with a knife. Remove from the oven and let cool. 
  2. Blend the baba ganoush: Once the eggplant is cool enough to handle, slice the eggplant in half and scrape out the insides into a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, removing large portions of seeds as you can (this minimizes any bitterness from the seeds). Add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, parsley, salt, cumin and smoked paprika. Process until smooth, about 30 seconds. With the motor running, pour in the olive oil and process for another 30 seconds or until light and fluffy. 
  3. Serve: Transfer the dip to a serving bowl and top with desired toppings. Serve with pita chips or pita bread. Leftovers store up to 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Allow to come to room temperature when serving. 

Notes

*Traditionally eggplant for baba ganoush is grilled, which infuses a distinct smoky flavor. Preheat a grill to medium-high heat (375 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit). Place the eggplant directly on the grill grates and grill for about 25 to 45 minutes, turning occasionally, until charred and tender and the eggplant shape collapses. Then go to step 2. 

  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Blended
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Keywords: Baba ganoush, Baba ganoush recipe

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