Tomato bread is served absolutely everywhere in Barcelona and is probably the most famous tapa in all of Catalonia.
It’s made with just 5 simple quality ingredients: crusty country-style bread, raw garlic (optional), fresh ripe tomatoes, fragrant olive oil, and sea salt. The best dishes are often the simplest!
Join us as we share recipes for the authentic Catalan Tomato Bread (Pa Amb Tomaquet) and our version.
Move over bread and butter…
Last year when we were in Barcelona, tomato bread was served everywhere. It looked so fun, but we had to let it go, since we never found any gluten-free. This year we again saw so many people enjoying this crazy simple bread. We were excited and knew it would just be a matter of time before we were home and could try this wonder of a tapa…gluten-free.
Choose a good crusty country-style bread or baguette. If gluten is not an issue, you have lots of options. If it is, don’t worry as the options for us have gotten so much better!
We drive down to Rising Hearts Bakery in Culver City, California once a month to stock up on their goodies. We love tomato bread using their baguettes! Check out their website, as they have an online delivery service. However, shipping can get a little pricey on items that require overnight delivery.
We really miss New Cascadia Bakery in Portland, Oregon. Their gluten-free bakery makes amazing hearth breads and rustic baguettes that are allergy-friendly. If you’re in the Portland area, this is the bread! If not, check out their website for their online delivery service.
Schar’s is another popular gluten-free brand. Their products are available online and in our area at Sprouts Farmers Market. If soy is not an issue, they have a baguette.
Schar’s bread is featured in our photos. However, when we were developing our spin on the recipe, we used Rising Heart’s baguettes…yum! Our best suggestion is to choose the bread that meets your needs.
Catalan Tomato Bread
With all respect to the traditional Pa Amb Tomaquet, we’re excited to share this favorite.
- Toast bread slices.
- Take a clove of garlic, cut in half lengthwise, and rub in cut side down all over the top of each slice of toasted bread.
- Follow by rubbing a tomato half cut side down all over the top of the bread, allowing most of the pulp to be absorbed by the bread.
- Give a quick drizzle of high-quality olive oil.
- Sprinkle with desired amount of sea salt.
- Serve immediately as tomato bread can get soggy quickly.
2 Ways to Serve
Assemble this yourself in the kitchen, or provide your guests with halved garlic cloves, halved tomatoes, olive oil, a bowl of sea salt, and let them do the work.
Tomato Bread is best grilled or toasted and served in batches.
Here’s an example of providing fun for your guests with everything they need to put together their own tomato bread.
Barcelona is one of our favorite cities. Below is tomato bread being produced in the mercado for the masses. This worker has an assembly line going and is spooning pureed tomatoes on dozens of pieces of toast. Cool!
This quick and easy way of producing tomato bread for large numbers led to our take on this delicious tapa.
Our Spin on Tomato Bread
Trim both ends of Roma tomatoes. Cut in half crosswise.
In a medium bowl combine tomatoes, Emerald Herb Oil, and garlic. Toss gently to coat tomatoes. Lay the tomatoes cut side up in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or a silpat. Drizzle with a little additional herb oil.
Roast in an oven preheated to 425-degrees F for 20 minutes. Lower the heat to 250-degrees F and continue to cook for another 20 minutes.
The finished tomatoes will shrink in size by about half and will look slightly shriveled. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
When tomatoes are cool to the touch, remove the skins which will slide right off. Place tomatoes and any juices in a food processor or blender.
Pulse several times until a nice texture is achieved.
By the way, this sauce is a great match for pasta or pizza.
Prepare a grill, oven, cast iron skillet, or toaster for toasting the bread. It’s important that the bread is nice and crispy to stand up to the sauce.
Spread the top of each slice of toasted bread with a tablespoon of roasted tomato sauce and serve immediately.
You can also present the bread and roasted tomato sauce on a platter for your family or guests to prepare a slice or two for themselves.
Another great idea for game day. Enjoy!
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Yield 12 toasts
Free of: gluten and top 8 allergens.
The best dishes are often the simplest!
1 pound Roma or plum tomatoes, both ends trimmed, and cut in half crosswise
3 tablespoons Emerald Herb Oil, divided (2 tbsp + 1 tbsp)
2 tsp minced garlic
12 large slices of a gluten-free sourdough round or other country-style bread or baguette
- For the roasted tomatoes, preheat oven to 425-degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil or a silpat.
- In a medium bowl combine tomatoes, first 2 tablespoons of herb oil, and garlic. Toss gently to coat tomatoes well.
- Lay the tomatoes, cut side up in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with any remaining oil/garlic from the bowl and the last tablespoon of herb oil. Roast for 20 minutes. Drop heat to 250-degrees F and continue to cook for another 20 minutes.
- The finished tomatoes will shrink in size by about half and will look slightly shriveled. Remove from oven and let cool. When tomatoes are cool to the touch, remove the skins which will slide right off.
- Place tomatoes and the juices in a blender. Pulse several times until a nice texture is achieved. Set aside.
- Prepare a grill, oven, cast iron skillet, or toaster for toasting the bread.
- Cut bread into 3/4-inch slices. If using a baguette, cut on a long diagonal.
- Working in batches, grill bread on lightly oiled grill rack over medium heat to achieve grill marks, about 1-2 minutes on each side. You can also bake the bread at 400-degrees F until toasty and golden. Baking time will depend on the type and thickness of your bread. Another option is to grill the bread over medium heat in a lightly oiled cast iron skillet, about 1-2 minutes on each side. You can also pop in the toaster. It's important that the bread is nice and crispy to stand up to the sauce.
- Spread the top of each slice with a tablespoon of roasted tomato sauce and serve immediately. You can also present the bread and roasted tomato sauce on a platter for your family or guests to prepare a slice or two for themselves.
Traditional Catalan Tomato Bread
12 large slices of a sourdough round or other country-style bread or baguette
6 garlic cloves, halved lengthwise
3 ripe fresh tomatoes, halved crosswise
4-6 tbsp Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse sea salt to taste
- Toast the bread as instructed in the above recipe.
- Remove bread from heat and immediately rub top side of each slice with cut side of a garlic half, using one garlic half for 2 slices of bread. Then rub with cut side of a tomato half, using 1 tomato half for 2 slices of bread and allowing most of the pulp to be absorbed by the bread.
- Give the bread a quick drizzle of a high quality olive oil. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and serve immediately, as tomato bread can go soggy quickly.
Often in Catalonia, restaurants will bring a board or platter with all 5 ingredients laid out. The platter is then passed around for guests to prepare a slice or two for themselves.