Provençal Tomatoes is an easy dish which sums up Provençal cooking because it is 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.
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
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.
Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive
oil and pop into the oven at 375°F/190°C/Gas 5 for 20 minutes until the tomatoes are
crispy and golden on the top.