Tomatoes Provencal

That old familiar quote, “the best laid plans of mice and men go oft awry” was in full effect around here last night. I had planned to cook something so old-fashioned, so Southern, so comforting and that post was going to show up today right here. However…something happened that I’ve never had to happen in all my time in the kitchen. I was mixing up this big bowl full of old-fashioned comfort (can’t tell what it was and spoil the surprise for later!). I had two sticks of butter and two cups of sugar creaming away in the mixer. Added the first egg, added the second egg. And then, you won’t believe this…I dropped the entire third egg into the bowl shell and all. I couldn’t believe what I’d done. Of course, there was no way to save all that butter, sugar and eggs and it was too late to run out to the grocery store for more, so I just laughed it off and resolved to make that recipe this weekend. You’re going to love it when I do get it posted. Promise!

In the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy this easy, tasty and beautiful recipe. This dish is French in nature, hence the “provencal,” and absolutely delicious. It’s a great accompaniment for almost any protein – chicken, fish, beef, you name it and this goes with it. I was inspired to make this a few days ago from watching a new-to-me show on Cooking Channel, French Food at Home. I’ve really been enjoying that one and am getting quite interested in French food because of it. And the more I learn about French food, the more I see its influence in Southern cuisine. Really. And not just in Creole (of course), but across the entire spectrum of our varied Southern cuisine. I think I’m going to be exploring French cuisine quite a bit and I hope you won’t mind me posting what I discover.

Even though I am happily crediting the show’s host, Laura Calder, as the inspiration for my cooking this recipe, I believe it is probably a standard in French kitchens.  Most likely other regional cuisines as well. I enjoy it even in winter when the tomatoes are not as flavorful as they are in summer. Those winter tomatoes seem to benefit from the cooking time and the bread crumb mixture along with the olive oil certainly helps, too. I hope you enjoy this one!

2 medium tomatoes
salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 slices day-old bread
1 tblsp. chopped parsley
1 garlic clove
2 tsp. olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Tomatoes Provencal

Cut the tomatoes in half around the middle and place cut side up in a baking dish. Salt and pepper each tomato half.

Tomatoes Provencal

In a food processor, add the bread, parsley and garlic. Process until you have coarse bread crumbs. I usually have a few slices of bread stored in my freezer. I especially like the end pieces for making bread crumbs. I toss them right in the food processer straight from the freezer, but you can defrost for a few seconds in the microwave if you want. Also, I didn’t have any fresh parsley on hand, so I threw in a tablespoon of dried. Just as good.

Tomatoes Provencal

Divide the bread crumb mixture evenly over the tomatoes.

Tomatoes Provencal

Drizzle with olive oil.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the bread crumbs are golden brown on top and the tomatoes have softened.

Enjoy!

Tomatoes Provencal
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Tomatoes baked with an herbed bread crumb topping.
Serves: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 slices day-old bread
  • 1 tblsp. chopped parsley
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut the tomatoes in half around the middle and place cut side up in a baking dish. Salt and pepper each tomato half.
  3. In a food processor, add the bread, parsley and garlic. Process until you have coarse bread crumbs.
  4. Divide the bread crumb mixture evenly over the tomatoes.
  5. Drizzle with olive oil.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or until the bread crumbs are golden brown on top and the tomatoes have softened.
Notes
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Comments

  1. says

    You are such a tease Lana! I cant wait to see what your making. Bummer about the waste tho. Damn egg!!
    This looks like an excellent side dish and one that I need to try. I made your Pimiento Cheese and the daughter LOVED it. It only lasted 24 hours and she already asked me to make more. Thanks for the Southern hospitality! Have a great weekend!

  2. says

    Love the simplicity of this recipe. It looks like a great way to add some flavor to winter tomatoes. Also very pretty on a serving platter. Thanks!

  3. Rhonda says

    I love the show French Food.. my son told me about it, she makes some yummy dishes, cant wait till the really good summer tomatoes come in, wonder what you were making??? sounds like cake!

  4. says

    I love Laura Calder also. There is something about her easy going, relaxed way that is so appealing. Her recipes are simple and oh so splendid. This one being no exception. I for one am happy that you dropped the egg in the blender (been there, done that) just to be reminded of this simple and elegant side dish. Can’t wait to see what you were trying to mix up in your future post but for now, this one is a winner in my book.
    Lana, I love your blog design. Have I ever told you that? Would make a great trivet.

    • says

      Hi Renee! Thanks for the compliment on the blog design. I like it, too, and had in mind a homey family kitchen when I created it. I’ve gotten a little obsessed with Laura Calder lately, recording all her shows and buying her cookbooks. Can’t wait to see what she cooks up next! And about that egg – well today’s post (Old-Fashioned Southern Teacakes) is what I was working on :-)

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