Recently our CSA offered the opportunity to buy tomatoes in bulk. A coworker and I decided to split a 20 lb box. So for a week there was a constant stream of tomato dishes on the table and tomato sauces in the slow cooker. It was good times! One of the dishes was a take off of Tomates a la Provencale from my beloved Julia Child. This was an easy recipe that quickly created a yummy, fresh, light side dish to go with our sirloin.
While this is an easy recipe, I will note that it should only be made with really good tomatoes. The tomatoes are the stars of this, and you will be extremely disappointed if you break this one out in December with a bunch of out-of-season, rock hard, chemically ripened tomatoes. Make it when they’re in season, really ripe, and really fresh.
6 ripe red tomatoes
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 c olive oil
1/2 c seasoned Italian breadcrumbs*
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the tomatoes in half crosswise and gently press out the juices and seeds. Don’t go crazy, just squeeze them a little – you want the tomatoes to stay firm in hold their shape. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and arrange them cut side up in an oiled roasting pan.
In a bowl, blend the garlic, oil, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Fill each tomato with a couple spoons of the mixture. Sprinkle with a few extra drops of olive oil before baking for 15 minutes or until the tomatoes are tender but still hold their shape.
If you do not have pre-seasoned Italian breadcrumbs, combine 1/2 c breadcrumbs, 1 T dried basil, 1/4 t dried thyme, and 1 T dried parsley.