I have an almost irritating gastronomical curiosity, a curiosity that often leads to surprising (if not weird) culinary combinations. I love complex, technical and challenging things, but often I find myself yearning for simplicity. Throughout time I’ve learnt that those simple things tend to fascinate, they tend to mesmerize. You simply get them and they simply get you.
One of those mesmerizing simple things are undoubtedly tomatoes à la Provençale, ripe tomatoes stuffed with flavorful bread crumbs. There are 2 tricky things about this recipe: the bread crumbs must be fresh, made from day old bread and the herbs should be fresh as well, not dried; dried bread crumbs and dried herbs aren’t quite a match made in heaven, at least not for this recipe. These being said, it’s impossible for me to describe how mouth-watering these stuffed tomatoes are. The contrast between the sweet and juicy tomato and the crispy bread crumbs is so delightful and you cannot limit yourself at just one serving!
Ingredients (for 6 servings):
- 6 ripe tomatoes
- 4-5 slices of whole wheat bread (crustless)
- 3 Tbsp chopped parsley
- 2 Tbsp chopped basil
- ½ Tbsp chopped thyme
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven at 200°C / 400°F (gas mark 6). Drizzle one rectangular ceramic tray with 1 Tbsp olive oil.
- Cut the tomatoes in half crosswise and remove the juices and seeds, place them in the tray and season with salt and pepper.
- Tear the crustless bread, place it in a food processor and pulse until crumbled. Add the fresh herbs, shallot and garlic and pulse until all the ingredients are combined. Season well with salt and pepper.
- Place 2 Tbsp of stuffing in each cavity and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft and the stuffing is crispy.
Source: lovely Julia Child