Pan tomate or tomato bread is a staple in Spain and is so simple and delicious.  Toasted and rubbed with garlic and tomato, topped with anchovies and drizzled with olive oil, you will have the traditional Catalan tapa.  Or topped with prosicutto you have bruschetta.  Topped with a little goat cheese and you have crostini, so this tapa or side-dish is truly international and works well with anything or on its own.

  • 6 salt packed anchovies or 12 filets packed in oil
  • 12 slices good quality country bread, such as ciabatta or a French country round loaf, or the most common bread now throughout the world of Spain is a crusty baguette style loaf that is a bit denser than a French baguette and it’s called a pistola in Madrid and pan de barra elsewhere
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 large ripe Roma tomatoes halved lengthwise
  • olive oil
  • salt

Rinse the anchovies under water and remove skins, bones and fins.  Soak in a bowl of water for 5 minutes then drain and blot on paper towels.  Toast the bread, swipe them with the garlic, then the tomatoes to make them red and juicy and then spread an anchovy filet over each.  Arrange on a platter and drizzle with olive oil and salt.

An alternate version involves topping the toasts with thin slices of serrano ham, which is equally delicious.  In Argentina, they would cook it up with burnt tomatoes, goat cheese, and anchovy.