Provençal tomatoes

This easy dish sums up Provençal cooking: simple, to the point and making the most of fresh ingredients.

Tomatoes are widely used in salads, daubes, ragus, tarts, sauces and soups. In fact, they crop up just about everywhere; stuffed, sun-dried, preserved and roasted.

I still remember the finest tomato dish I ever tasted. It was high above the Chamonix valley, at a small mountain cantine, at Bel-achat, on Le Brévènt side of the valley. Having just climbing the mountain I was at the top of the descent when I found to my surprise this perfectly placed eatery serving very simplistic cuisine. I had a tomato salad, little more than sliced tomatoes and a fine olive oil with herbs, but it was superb.

This dish of Provençal tomatoes does much the same; keeping it simple so that the tomatoes can be served with a wide range of meat dishes. It is the epitome of Provençal cuisine.


INGREDIENTS

4 large, ripe tomatoes
A handful of parsley or basil, finely chopped
2 tbsps breadcrumbs
1 large clove of garlic, crushed
Extra virgin olive oil


METHOD

1.       Slice the tomatoes through their middles and drain them, cut-side down on kitchen towel. 

2.      Fry the tomatoes, again cut-side down, in a little olive oil for 5 to 10 minutes on a medium heat.

3.      Place them in a baking tray, cut-side up this time and sprinkle with the herbs, garlic, and breadcrumbs.  

4.      Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and pop into the oven at 190°C for 20 minutes until the tomatoes are crispy and golden on the top.