Juicy tomatoes stuffed with bread crumbs and fresh herbs (or Tomatoes à la Provençale) are a tasty and healthy side dish. They are so easy to make and although the ingredients are humble and budget-friendly, the result is simply delicious. The ripe tomatoes are seeded, stuffed with fresh whole-wheat bread crumbs and aromatic herbs and baked until they become soft and sweet. It is such a rustic side dish and yet so elegant!
Step 1: Prepare the Ingredients
Ingredients (for 6 servings):
- 6 ripe tomatoes
- 4-5 slices of whole-wheat bread
- 3 Tbsp chopped parsley
- 2 Tbsp chopped basil
- ½ Tbsp chopped thyme
- 1 shallot or 1 small red onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- a bowl
- a cutting board
- a sharp knife
- a paper towel
- a food processor
- a ceramic tray
- tsp = teaspoon
- Tbsp = tablespoon
Step 2: Prepare the Tomatoes
Preheat the oven at 200°C / 400°F (gas mark 6). Drizzle one rectangular ceramic tray with 1 Tbsp olive oil.
Cut the tomatoes in half crosswise and remove the juices and seeds. You can remove the seeds using a teaspoon or simply your fingers. Leave them aside.
Step 3: Prepare the Stuffing
The bread crumbs must be fresh, made from day old bread and the herbs should be fresh as well, not dried. Unfortunately, dried bread crumbs and dried herbs would not work for this recipe.
Mince the garlic and finely chop the onion.
With a sharp knife cut the crusts off the bread. Tear the bread into chunks and place it into your food processor bowl. Pulse until fine crumbs are formed. Add the chopped onion, herbs and garlic and pulse until combined. Season with salt and pepper.
Step 4: Stuff the Tomatoes
Take some clean paper towels and pat dry the tomatoes' cavities. Place the tomato halves in the tray and season with salt and pepper.
Fill the cavities and cover the tops of the tomatoes with stuffing. Use about 2 Tbsp of stuffing per tomato half. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes are soft and the stuffing is golden.
Step 5: Serve
As an appetizer, serve warm with olive oil drizzled on top. This recipes also makes a delicious side for grilled chicken, beef or fish.