Way back in February, Babish posted a link for a live Zoom with him, where you could learn to make Thai Crab Cakes, Pan Con Tomate, and a cocktail for a date night in (since the world was still waiting on vaccines for the non-hospital staff), and I signed us up on a whim. We couldn’t make the crab cakes (Steven’s not a huge fan of crab), and the cocktail didn’t appeal to me (we each made our own), but the pan con tomate has become a staple in our household. We basically did a fancy meal each night of Valentine’s Day weekend since we couldn’t go out anywhere.
What We Changed: Absolutely nothing. It’s super simple and easy to make that sometimes we’ll just grab a loaf of ciabatta from Trader Joe’s (we’ve been burned by Winn Dixie too many times by moldy ciabatta) and some tomatoes and just eat bread for dinner.
What We Would Change: While we changed nothing the first time we made it, we have done a few changes since the first time we made it. Namely, after toasting it and adding the garlic, we put a small slice of mozzarella cheese on and re-toasted it so the cheese was melty before putting the tomatoes on top. We don’t do this every time, but it’s a great way to add a little extra flavor to the bread.
Does It Reheat?: I wouldn’t know. We always cut the entire loaf of ciabatta, toast it, and eat it as an entire meal. I think if you don’t put the tomatoes on top, you should be able to re-heat the toast part (preferably in a toaster oven) and then add the tomatoes back on top, but if you don’t eat this stuff quickly the tomatoes soak through and make the bread pretty soggy. This is meant to be eaten hot and when it comes out of the oven, not saved and eaten later.
Final Thoughts: We haven’t made this for any of our friends yet, but I’m certain that once we do, they’ll love it as well. It makes a perfect dinner if you’re looking for something light that doesn’t take too long (you just have to be careful with how long you keep tomatoes, because those things go bad faster than you think). One day I want to make my own ciabatta loaf, but for now it’s easier/cheaper just to buy everything when we go out.
All that said, this is easily a 5/5 star recipe, whether you make it as an entire meal or if you use it as an appetizer (the way it’s supposed to be eaten). I don’t think there’s a single thing I could complain about with this recipe, and I’m surprised at how much I loved the tomatoes (I’m not usually a raw tomato person). Pick up some bread, tomatoes, and fresh garlic and try this soon!
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