Ellie Bouhadana's Pan Con Tomate
Welcome to Put on a Spread, a recipe series that takes you inside the kitchens – and dining rooms – of some of our favourite home cooks. For this instalment, Melbourne-based chef Ellie Bouhadana shares her recipe for a Spanish tapas classic, Pan Con Tomate.
Although tapas-style dishes are designed to be shared, it's likely there will be some competition as to who gets the last slice of Ellie Bouhadana's Pan Con Tomate. This delightfully easy yet tasty Spanish dish celebrates the humble tomato and is considered a staple of Catalan cuisine and identity.
The name simply translates to 'bread with tomato', and it makes for a lovely standalone snack or the perfect accompaniment to other Mediterranean-style dishes. Ellie favourite way to enjoy this dish is pairing it with a heavier main, and from the afternoon onwards, with a salad and a glass of white wine. And why not follow on from this with her delicious Tiramisu With Amaretto and Toasted Hazelnuts?
This summery recipe will go down a treat as an alfresco lunch appetiser or a quick meal when you're simply too tired to cook something more elaborate.
- 1 loaf good quality, day-old bread
- 3 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 5 large tomatoes (summer tomatoes are best, otherwise use the best quality, juicy tomatoes you can find for the season)
- Flakey salt (such as Maldon salt)
- Freshly cracked black pepper
Heat the oven to 190 degrees celsius
Slice the bread you have into thick pieces (about 3cm) and then cut them in half down the middle.
Lightly pour some beautiful extra virgin olive oil over the top of the bread and season each piece with flakey salt.
Put the bread onto a tray and into a hot oven. After 5 minutes take the bread out and rub a decent amount of garlic over each piece. Place the bread back in the oven for another 5 minutes. Every oven is different, which means your bread could take a little less time or a little longer depending. Watch the bread and take it out of the oven when it has turned golden all over. When you tap the grilled bread it should make a nice crunch sound.
While your bread is crisping up, slice the tops off the tomatoes and using the large side of a box grater, move the tomatoes back and forth to release their juices into a bowl. Throw the tomato skins into your compost.
Season the fresh tomato pulp with a big pinch of flakey sea salt and fresh black pepper to your liking. Pour a glug of olive oil into the tomatoes and stir through.
Take a small spoon and layer the thick crunchy bread with the grated tomato mix. Add some more tomato pulp so it sits nice and plump on top of the bread.
Another glug of olive oil should be lightly poured over before serving, along with a little more salt.
For more from Ellie, follow her at @ellies.table