Top 5 Things to Love About Garlic (No. 4)

I’m counting down all week to the Great Gilroy Garlic Cookoff this Saturday, July 27!  If you haven’t heard, I’ll be tweeting live from the Cookoff Stage at the 35th Gilroy Garlic Festival with all the action!  You won’t want to miss it.  It’s one of the greatest cookoffs, and the festival is so much fun.  Gilroy GarlicYou can watch the live Twitter feed right here on my blog (right there on the right!)red_right_arrowOr you can follow me on Twitter (@LaureenCooks). #GarlicCookoff

In the meanwhile, I’m counting down my Top Five Things to Love About Garlic! Here is number 4:

Garlic Bread!

Garlic bread really has to be in the top 5, right?  Who doesn’t love a perfectly toasted, buttery, garlicky hunk o’ crusty bread?  Maybe a sprinkle of Parmesan or Romano before popping it under the broiler; or some fresh chopped Italian parsley or oregano.  Perfection served with pasta or soup or a simple salad.  My favorite version of garlic bread is the Tomato Garlic Bread served all over Catalan.  You can’t walk into a restaurant in Barcelona or anywhere in Catalan without Pan con Tomate showing up at your table.  The toasted bread is brought to the table, along with fresh peeled garlic cloves and a vine ripened tomato, usually cut in half, so that you can make your own pan con tomate just the way you like it.

Tomato Garlic Bread

Catalan Tomato Garlic Bread (Pan con Tomate)

  • Rustic French or Italian loaf, cut into thick (1- 1/2 – 2 inch) slices)
  • whole cloves of garlic peeled and halved
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • very ripe vine tomatoes

Toast, broil or grill the bread until golden. Rub one side of each bread slice with the garlic halves. You can rub a little or a lot–I vote for a lot!  As you rub the garlic on the toasted bread, the fresh clove will wear down as the fresh garlic goodness is transferred to the bread.

Slice the tomatoes in half and then rub the cut side over the bread or squeeze the pulp over the bread slices while discarding the skins. Sprinkle some sea salt and season with freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle with a little extra version olive oil (Spanish, of course!).  This should be served immediately.  My husband and I enjoyed some delicious Pan con Tomate in Catalonia topped with jamon Iberico, duck prosciutto and anchovies.

Pan con Catalan with Duck Prosciutto and Anchovy - Madremanya, Catalan

Pan con Catalan with Duck Prosciutto and Anchovy – Madremanya, Catalan

The bread we purchased in a bakery near Girona.


Lunch with Chef Vincenc, below. The bread is lightly toasted and ready for smothering with the beautiful Spanish tomatoes and garlic.100_6539

3 responses to “Top 5 Things to Love About Garlic (No. 4)

  1. Awww, such fond memories of tomato bread from our trip to Barcelona! Such a simple but wonderful version. I think we ate it every day on our vacation! Thanks for the great reminder!

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