Minimal Monday: Provencal Tomatoes

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

3 from 3 votes

Provencal Tomatoes

Author Sue Moran


  • 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.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
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
    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.

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