Provencal Tomatoes

straight from my garden and into the oven captures the ease of preparation for stuffed Provencal tomatoes.  Ina garten’s recipe which she claims is adapted from Julia child’s french recipe is delicious.  by using the freshest and firmest garden tomatoes, the presentation is perfect. i would guess that if the tomatoes were not firm, they would collapse with baking and the look on the plate would be less than ideal.

to make this recipe:
preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  cut the top from the tomatoes and core.  remove the seeds and juice.  place the tomato portions in a baking dish. i used five tomatoes.

next, in a bowl, mix about 1 1/4 cups of panko bread crumbs, chopped scallions, minced fresh parsley, basil, thyme, a small garlic clove, and sea salt.  sprinkle the tomatoes with a splash of salt and ground pepper.

with a small spoon, fill the tomatoes very full with the ingredients.  bake for 15 minutes.
remove from the oven and top with grated Gruyere cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.  bake for another five minutes to brown and melt the cheese.

these tomatoes need to be served hot from the oven.  the tomatoes can be prepared in advance, stored in the refrigerator, and baked along with the main course to serve.

 i served the tomatoes with baked cod for a bright color accent on the plate.  the tomatoes were delicious and a nice change from a standard green vegetable.

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