Pan con tomate

This is a very simple recipe in Catalan cuisine, known as Pa amb tomàquet – a slice of bread with tomatoes, some salt and olive oil. Sometimes you can toast the bread and rub in some garlic. The story is that this is a good way to use up old bread, as the tomatoes and olive oil bring back moisture. In José’s restaurants, they toast a type of light bread, then rub in some garlic. They then rub the tomatoes over the garlic bread, add a good glug of olive oil and some salt. They buy their tomatoes from Catalonia where they are called ‘hanging tomatoes’, because they are kept hanging for the whole year.

Serves 2

  • 4 slices white bread cut from a loaf
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 4 ripe tomatoes, halved
  • extra virgin olive oil to drizzle
  • flaky sea salt


Lightly toast the bread then rub each slice with the garlic clove. Put two tomato halves, cut side down, on each slice and press down with your fingers, squeezing the insides over the bread (discard the outside). To serve, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with sea salt.

Recipe from Barcelona and beyond by José Pizarro (Hardie Grant, £25.00) Photography: Laura Edwards

Sautéed clams

with garlic, lemon & parsley

Clams are popular all over the world as they are so versatile. When you are planning to cook for more than a couple of people, you don’t want to spend your whole evening chained to the stove. Pick ingredients and dishes your friends will love but are also quick prepare. You can boil some pasta with this for a really easy lunch, and add some chilli for an extra kick.

Serves 4

  • 3 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 lemon, half finely sliced, half juiced
  • 1 kg  fresh palourde clams, cleaned
  • A few sprigs of thyme, leaves stripped
  • A Handful of finely chopped flat-leaf parsley


Heat a little oil in a deep, heavy-based pan. Fry the garlic and lemon slices for 30 seconds, then increase the heat to high, add the clams and cover. Cook for 2-3 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, until the clams have all opened (discard any that refuse to open). Add the lemon juice and herbs and serve with lots of crusty bread to mop up the juices.

Recipe from San Sebastian and beyond by José Pizarro (Hardie Grant, £25.00) Photography: Laura Edwards