In Barcelona, and in much of eastern Spain, one of the most popular tapas is Pa Amb Tomàquet - or Catalan Tomato Bread. Even the airport lounge at the Barcelona airport had all of the fixings to make your own. Why the do-it-yourself setup? Because you want to eat it right away so that the tomato doesn’t sog up the toast!
It’s remarkably simple and ever so tasty. The Catalonians will eat it for breakfast! Serve it as a fun participatory DIY appetizer.
Slices of hearty bread, or pieces of a baguette sliced crosswise
Fresh garlic cloves, skin still on, cut in half. [Leaving the skin on allows you to hold it without getting your fingers all garlicky]
Fresh ripe tomatoes cut in half crosswise
Good quality Extra Virgin Olive oil
Coarse Salt - sea salt flakes are best
Toast the bread so that you have a rough crispy surface that will serve as a ”grater” for the garlic and tomato. (For a large crowd you might use a barbecue grill.)
Take a half piece of garlic and scrape it all over the rough crispy surface of the toast. Raw garlic can be strong, but suit your taste!
Take a half piece of tomato and scrape it all over the bread, squeezing out the pulp and coating it evenly. [Alternatively, you can grate the tomato halves, using the large holes of a box grater, into a bowl in advance, and spread the tomato onto the toast with a spoon. This is how it was done in the airport lounge in Barcelona.]