How do you make tomatoes on toast even better? Make it pan con tomate, and add burrata. Ripe tomatoes, fresh herbs, golden toasted bread and oozy burrata? My idea of the perfect quick lunch or light meal. Plus, it takes just 10 minutes to make!
Ever since I discovered the technique of grating tomatoes, I’ve never looked back. It’s genius for two reasons. 1) It breaks the tomatoes down into the perfect consistency for slathering on crispy toast (also for a quick salsa, pasta sauce, or pizza sauce!) And 2) It means you can easily get all the good parts of the tomato and lose the skin. I know it seems kind of weird to grate a tomato, but I promise it works.
Pan con tomate is essentially tomatoes on toast. But this classic Spanish tapas dish uses a couple of little tricks to maximise flavour. The first is the aforementioned grating of the tomatoes. The second is rubbing a chopped garlic clove over the crispy bread – it adds a subtle garlic flavour without it overpowering the tomatoes. When I first saw this I was sceptical that it would do anything, but it does, so try not to skip it.
The classic recipe ends there, and it’s delicious. But adding oozy, creamy burrata? That makes this a meal. If you’ve not tried burrata before, it’s essentially a creamier version of mozzarella. It looks like a mozzarella ball, but the inside is a very creamy mix of mozzarella and cream (stracciatella).
Burrata is the only ingredient that might be tricky to find, but I’ve outlined some alternatives below. Everything else should be easy enough to find!
- Tomatoes. Good quality, large vine tomatoes are best here. Make sure they’re lovely and ripe. If tomatoes aren’t in season, you can use tinned tomatoes – I love using Mutti’s Polpa crushed tomatoes.
- Bread. I’m using sourdough, but any good-quality bread will do. Focaccia would be amazing – try making my easy no knead focaccia to use with this recipe.
- Burrata. Here’s the twist! Creamy, oozy burrata is becoming much easier to find in supermarkets. But if you can’t find it, go with fresh mozzarella, or you could crumble goat’s cheese or feta over the tomatoes. If you can, remove it from the fridge about 30 minutes before you make the pan con tomate – I find the texture and consistency is better at room temperature.
- Herbs. I’m using fresh thyme and basil, but you could use dried herbs if you like.
- Garlic, flaky salt, pepper, olive oil. Garlic is for rubbing over the toasted bread, and salt, pepper and olive oil are essentials for seasoning the tomatoes.
How to make it
Grab your grater and grate your tomatoes. The easiest way to do this is to cut your tomatoes in half, then grate them, cut side against your box grater. Scrape the grated tomatoes into a sieve or colander to drain away some of the water for a couple of minutes. This helps to prevent the toast from going soggy – a lot of water will come out even in a few minutes of draining. Transfer the drained grated tomatoes to a small bowl and add salt, pepper, olive oil, thyme and basil. Give the mix a good stir with a spoon and set aside.
Drizzle a little olive oil into a pan over medium heat, then place your bread inside. Drizzle more olive oil over the bread, then cook for a couple of minutes, until it’s starting to get golden on one side (flip it and check). Flip and cook on the other side for another few minutes until golden (you can also do this in your toaster and drizzle olive oil on top when it comes out, or do it under your grill). Transfer the bread to a serving plate and rub the exposed side of the chopped garlic clove all over one side. Pile on the seasoned, grated tomato mix, then top with the burrata (you can divide this between the slices). Finish with more thyme, basil, pepper and another drizzle of olive oil.
Got a question?
You could use tinned tomatoes! Go for plum tomatoes or crushed ones – you can kind of mash them up in a bowl, then continue mixing in the herbs, salt, pepper and olive oil in the recipe.
If you can’t find burrata, you can use regular buffalo mozzarella, goat’s cheese or feta.
I love using a good, thick slice of sourdough or focaccia – try making my super easy no-knead focaccia to use in the recipe! Because the bread is toasted, it’s also a great way to use up any stale bread you have.
Did you like this recipe? Here are some other simple recipes you might like
If you make this recipe let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear what you think.Print