Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Recipe: Italian Tomatoes Provencal

When I was a child, my father would make a dish using fresh tomatoes, garlic, and breadcrumbs. I remember the crust of pepper, parsley, and olive oil and the tomato flavor was so concentrated, it almost dissolved in my mouth. Years later, I would try and recreate the dish for my grandmother using tomato slices instead of the plum tomatoes that my father used. They were delicious. I've come to find out that the recipe is called Tomatoes Provencal and I recreated fairly well. Parmesan cheese, garlic, basil, and shallots, round out the flavors in this dish. I also now use Panko breadcrumbs as they add extra crunch and texture to the topping.

Italian Tomatoes Provencal
2 large tomatoes or 6-8 Roma tomatoes
1 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
2 garlic cloves, diced
1 shallot, diced
3 T fresh parsley, chopped
3 T fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
4 T olive oil, divided
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400.
Wash and core tomatoes. Slice tomatoes: if using Roma, slice in half. If using round tomatoes, slice in 1/2 inch slices. Place tomatoes on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
In a bowl combine breadcrumbs, garlic, shallot, parsley, basil, Parmesan cheese, 2 T olive oil. Stir to combine all ingredients. Sprinkle on top of each tomato slice. Drizzle with remaining 2 T olive oil.
Place in the oven for 25 - 30 minutes until tender. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Note - Tomatoes Provencal are traditionally made with Herbs de Provence spice, which is a combination of thyme, rosemary, lavender, savory, oregano, and marjoram. I prefer the flavors of basil and parsley, which is why I consider the recipe and Italian version.

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