Provencal Tomatoes are a super easy and healthy side dish with that classic French panache ~ who thought something so simple could be so delicious?
It’s Monday again, and those beautiful heirloom tomatoes from the farmer’s market are sitting on the counter. Almost too pretty to eat. I had big plans for them. Maybe a TOMATO TART, or a fancy PANZANELLA SALAD. But my youngest daughter gets home from college today, and her 20th birthday is Tuesday. I’ve got presents to wrap and a cake to bake, so these tomatoes will just have to get the minimal treatment.
It’s also simple— all you do is lop off their tops, scoop out a bit of the innards, and stuff with a mix of bread crumbs, herbs and cheese. Drizzle and bake.
And satisfying—they hit all the high points: crunchy, cheesy, juicy, fresh, and sweet.
- 6 good ripe tomatoes, still somewhat firm
- fresh cracked pepper
- herbes de Provence
- a sprinkle of lemon juice
- 3/4 cup bread crumbs
- about 1/3 cup fresh herbs of your choice, finely chopped
- 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, minced (optional)
- about 1/2 cup grated hard Italian cheese of your choice
- olive oil
- Set oven to 350F
- Slice the tops off the tomatoes and scoop out just a little of the pulp from the center of each one.
- Arrange the tomatoes in an oven proof dish and sprinkle them with the salt, pepper, herbes de Provence, and lemon juice.
- In a small bowl mix together the bread crumbs, fresh herbs, garlic, and cheese.
- Sprinkle the mixture heavily over each tomato, filling the cavities. You can use any herbs you like, I used a combination of tarragon, basil, chives and thyme because that's what I had around.
- Drizzle the tomatoes liberally with olive oil.
- Bake for about 15 minutes, then put them under the broiler briefly to get browned. Serve while nice and hot.