Julia Child left many gifts to us….
What to do with tomatoes in the off season just might be my favorite.
Tomatoes Provencal is one of those dishes that is greater then the sum of its parts.
Simple herbs, bread crumbs, garlic, olive oil salt and pepper. That’s it!
Bake for 10-15 minutes and then, take a warm buttery crunchy herby garlic bite, with the floral warm softness of the tomato underneath.
I usually make these for a side dish with meat – lamb, steak, ham. The first time I made them was for Easter years ago, but they are so easy and so good I make them for holidays or for a casual dinner or for brunch.
There is something so lovely about opening up Julia’s cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and hear it’s spine crack under the weight of all those recipes. It is like opening a treasure box filled with jewels, and selecting one and holding it up to the light. Then when you make it and realize how simple and delicious it is, it becomes a memory of goodness, of beauty, and if you share it with others, of love.
I hope you try this one soon. Especially if you are craving tomato season as the weather turns warmer. I promise it won’t disappoint!
Tomatoes a la Provencale Recipe (printer version here)
adapted from Mastering The Art of French Cooking by Julia Child
6 firm ripe fleshy tomatoes (about 2 lb)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
2 tb minced fresh basil leaves
2 tb minced fresh thyme leaves
2 cloves garlic, mashed
3 tb minced shallots or green onions
Salt and pepper
Preheat your oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Remove the stems of the tomatoes. Cut the tomatoes in two half. Squeeze out seeds and juice. Add salt and pepper
Blend the rest of the ingredients together in a bowl. Fill each of the tomatoes with the mixture. Sprinkle the tomatoes with olive oil.
In a shallow baking or gratin dish arrange the tomatoes not too close from each other. Bake the tomatoes in the oven at 400º (200ºC) for 15 minutes max. Serve as a starter or as a side dish.