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Minimal Monday: Provencal Tomatoes

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Provencal Tomatoes are a super easy and healthy side dish with that classic French panache, make them with classic red or colorful heirloom tomatoes ~ who thought something so simple could be so delicious?

Provencal Tomatoes | The easiest summer side dish!

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 Shrirazi 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.

Provencal Tomatoes | The View from Great Island 2

This recipe is authentic— My inspiration comes from Dani, who made them on her trip to France last year.  She got her recipe from a cookbook that was in the kitchen of the home they were renting.  But this dish has vintage American cache, too.  They would have been right there, next to your steak, throughout the 50s, 60s at any restaurant worth its salt.

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.

Provencal Tomatoes | The View from Great Island 3

 Not to mention healthy—there’s no reason these can’t be a meal, with a loaf of bread to soak up all the juices, a salad, and some wine.

Provencal Tomatoes | The View from Great Island

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3 from 3 votes

Provencal Tomatoes


  • 6 good ripe tomatoes still somewhat firm
  • salt
  • 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.
Notes:  These are best eaten hot from the oven.  If your tomatoes are small, reduce the cooking time or they will get mushy.  You can sprinkle them with extra cheese before broiling if you like.

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  • Reply
    Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen
    May 19, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    Tomatoes provencal have been a part of my husband’s family since the fifties. As soon as I tasted them, I loved them too. They used to use a little garlic in the stuffing. I am definitely pinning these Sue.

  • Reply
    September 27, 2012 at 2:26 am

    Oh, these were delicious! Thank you.

  • Reply
    the actor's diet
    June 8, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    so beautiful and simple! bookmarked!

  • Reply
    June 8, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    I used to make these all the time, but for some reason I forgot about them. I will definitely have to try them out again soon!

  • Reply
    Rachel R
    June 6, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    This looks amazing. I think I’ll try them tonight for dinner – maybe with some prosciutto on the side? (But of course, I’ll put prosciutto with anything…)

  • Reply
    Katie @ This Chick Cooks
    June 5, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Oh my! Those tomatoes look absolutely amazing! Love all the beautiful heirloom tomatoes you used!

  • Reply
    Liza in Ann Arbor
    June 5, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    Sounds delicious. And I have some bread crumbs in the freezer needing a home.

  • Reply
    Averie @ Averie Cooks
    June 5, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    gorgeous tomatoes!!! I love heirlooms & I love roasted tomatoes…seriously this is made for me. I even just wrote at the bottom of my roasted grape post how much I love roasted tomatoes & now I see these!

  • Reply
    Tricia @ saving room for dessert
    June 5, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Oh me oh my! This speaks to me. The dish looks amazing, the dishes are beautiful and the tomatoes are fantastic!

  • Reply
    Lea Ann
    June 5, 2012 at 11:49 am

    I love that photo with the yellow plate and the blue napkin. These tomatoes look divine. I don’t think I’ve ever had them and they are a “must make” when I get fresh tomatoes. Growing up in the middle of Kansas, we really didn’t have a good steak house restaurant available, but it also seems like I remember creamed mushrooms were a standard along side steak too. Anyway…I’m loving this recipe! Pinned.

  • Reply
    June 5, 2012 at 11:36 am

    I can’t think of anything I’m more excited for than tomato season! Especially the heirlooms. These sound absolutely stunning!

  • Reply
    Kitchen Belleicious
    June 5, 2012 at 2:41 am

    those tomatoes must get on my plate this week or else!

  • Reply
    June 5, 2012 at 1:50 am

    Oh these are just gorgeous! You have one lucky daughter and such beautiful tomatoes!

  • Reply
    June 4, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    These are indeed beautiful – and very similar (if not identical) to the Italian way of baking of them. And those dishes – they are gorgeous! Jealous you already have tomatoes – am waiting… and waiting.

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      June 5, 2012 at 12:30 am

      Claudia—I noticed that as I was surfing the web and checking out different recipes. And I think it’s early even for California to be getting tomatoes; so many of them come from greenhouses, it’s always hard to tell when the season has actually started.

  • Reply
    Inside a British Mum's Kitchen
    June 4, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    they look so gorgeous – lovely recipe – super photos – my 11 year old is convinced you are a professional photographer!
    Mary x

  • Reply
    June 4, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    This looks right up my alley. When we start getting beautiful, flavorful tomatoes up here I’m definitely going to make this. Hope you’re loving and adjusting back to your LA living, Sue! Those beautiful tomatoes must be helping with it. 🙂

  • Reply
    for the love of a house
    June 4, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    These look absolutely fabulous! Your photos are always SO gorgeous.

    happy week to you!

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      June 5, 2012 at 12:23 am

      Thanks, Joan! By the way I loved your latest post, we have the same taste in decor, I loved all your vignettes, and the tortoise shell boxes are stunning. Now I have to find one for myself. With all the thrift store shopping I’ve done in my life I’m surprised I’ve never come across them. Or maybe I just wasn’t looking.

  • Reply
    June 4, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    oh yum! i’d like a couple of those with a huge salad! mmmmm

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      June 5, 2012 at 12:20 am

      Victoria has the heirloom veggie trend taken off in Edinburgh? I’m curious if that’s just an American phenomenon or not.

  • Reply
    Gerlinde in Dallas
    June 4, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Your tomatoes look wonderful, and the plate they sit on is gorgeous! Love all the colours!

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      June 5, 2012 at 12:37 am

      Thanks Gerlinde, I’ve always been a china addict, so food blogging encourages me to feed my habit. As I told Mary, it’s melamine, but a really heavy weight. I’ll post the details.

  • Reply
    June 4, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Sue you’ve transported me back to my own holiday in France!
    Aren’t they delicious. I made them on Friday night.
    Thanks for mentioning me, and your photos are incredible as usual!

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      June 5, 2012 at 12:32 am

      Thank you! I’ve had these in the back of my mind since I read your original post, I’m so glad I finally got around to making them!

  • Reply
    Hungry Dog
    June 4, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    These sound delicious. We’re starting to get some lovely tomatoes in our CSA box, some of them will be eaten plain but some of them will get this special treatment. Thanks for posting!

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      June 5, 2012 at 12:17 am

      I couldn’t stop snapping photos of them they were so gorgeous, and each one unique. I mercifully spared you the results of my heirloom tomato portrait session, though. Have fun with your csa boxes!

  • Reply
    June 4, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Be still my heart. The tomatoes sound delicious, but that plate just made me sigh. I love the colors!

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      June 5, 2012 at 12:08 am

      Ok, you’re the first to notice the plate, so you get to hear the secret, it’s melamine— I found one at a store and then went to their site, I’m going to post about it later. It’s heavy so it feels like china.