Pan con tomate, or tomato on toast, is a traditional breakfast in Spain, probably the only country where you can get away with liberally rubbing raw garlic on toast first thing in the morning and not worry about the consequences for the rest of the day.
When tomatoes are in season, you can slice them and place on the bread, but at this time of year, I prefer them grated. It’s important to use fresh, not stale, garlic and top-quality oil. I also like it with dried oregano on top or, in summer, some basil leaves. If you’ve got some seriously good jamón Ibérico, then you can take your pan con tomate to a new level: pan con jamón.
On a recent trip to Barcelona, I had the similar pan Catalan, where fresh tomato is rubbed on toast and, in some bars, lightly sprinkled with caraway seeds, which is a surprising but delicious addition.
Sliced sourdough, ciabatta or similar bread
Garlic clove, peeled
Ripe tomato, cut in half and grated, skin discarded
Extra-virgin olive oil
Toast the bread, then rub with the garlic clove. Spoon on the tomato, drizzle on the oil and finish off with a sprinkling of salt.