Saturday, July 17, 2010

Tomates à la Provençale

Finally, I have cracked open my copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I'm surprised it took me this long to have a Jocelyn and Julia moment. My first attempt was not too complicated, just an easy side for roast chicken and a nice use of delicious ripe tomatoes.

I have been enjoying my usual summer love affair with tomatoes. I am loving them raw or cooked and often as you will see in future posts. Once again I am way behind on my entires, summer with two boys is taking it's toll. One month until school starts!

Without further ado, Julia's Tomates à la Provençale.

Serves 6

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

6 firm, ripe, red tomatoes about 3 inches in diameter
Salt and pepper

Remove the stems, and cut the tomatoes in half crosswise. Gently press out the juice and seeds. Sprinkle the halves lightly with salt and pepper.

1 to 2 cloves mashed garlic
3 T. minced shallots or green onions
4 T. minced fresh basil and parsley
1/8 t. thyme
1/4 t. salt
Big pinch of pepper
1/4 C. olive oil
1/2 C. crumbs from fresh white bread with body
A shallow, oiled roasting pan just large enough to hold the tomatoes easily in one layer

Blend all the ingredients above in a mixing bowl. Correct seasoning. Fill each tomato half with a spoonful or two of the mixture. Sprinkle with a few drops of olive oil. Arrange the tomatoes in the roasting pan; do not crowd them. May be prepared ahead to this point.

Shortly before you are ready to serve, place them in the upper third of the preheated oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the tomatoes are tender but hold their shape, and the bread crumb filling has browned slightly.

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