Tomato-Rubbed Bread with Serrano Ham (Pan con tomate y jamón de serrano)

In many ways, this is the national dish of Catalonia. You'll find it at the start of any good tapas meal across the region—in homes, bars and restaurants. There's something deeply satisfying about the warm bread, ripe tomato and golden oil together. And you can top it with anchovies, cheese or ham to create a true showstopper. Here are two versions of the dish: one for smaller groups, the other for bigger parties. In the first, more traditional recipe, you rub the tomato directly on the bread and the crunchy toast acts like a grater. In the second, we use a grater for speed, mixing the tomatoes with olive oil and salt. Fast Hors d'Oeuvres



  • 2 ripe tomatoes, halved crosswise

  • 4 slices rustic sourdough bread, toasted

  • Spanish extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

  • Salt

  • 4 thin slices Serrano ham


The Modern Way

  1. Rub the cut sides of the tomato onto the toast until the flesh is gone. Throw away the skins. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Top each toast with a slice of Serrano ham. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and serve.

  2. Place a grater over a large mixing bowl. Rub the cut sides of the tomatoes over the grater until the flesh is gone. Throw away the skins. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the tomato in the bowl. Season with salt. Toast the bread. Spoon the tomato mixture onto the toast and top with a slice of ham. Drizzle with a little olive oil and serve.

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