Tomatoes Provencale

Posted on February 23, 2006

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Tomatoes Provencale

The tomatoes can be partially cooked ahead of time, so it takes only five minutes to complete the dish just before serving—and they are precooked and then finished in a gratin dish that can go directly from the oven to the table.

4 pounds ripe fleshy tomatoes (about 4)
6 tablespoons virgin olive oil
3 slices bread
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup loosely packed parsley leaves
2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt

Cut the tomatoes in half parallel to the stem, and arrange them in a gratin dish that is attractive enough to bring to the table. Oil the tops of the tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and place them under a preheated broiler, about 4 inches from the heat. Broil for 6 to 8 minutes. The tomatoes should be firm but tender when pierced gently with the point of a knife, and look slightly crusty and lightly brown on top.

Prepare the bread crumb mixture: Place the bread in the bowl of a food processor and pulse for about 10 seconds, until the bread is crumbed
(you should have about 2/3 cup) . Add the garlic, parsley, and thyme, and process for another 10 seconds, until the mixture is combined. Transfer it to a bowl, add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and the pepper and salt, and toss gently. Spoon evenly over the tomatoes.

Just before serving, place the tomatoes under a preheated broiler, about 8 inches from the heat, and broil for 5 to 6 minutes, until they are heated through and brown on top. Serve immediately.

Note: To prepare this ahead of time, broil the tomatoes for 6 to 8 minutes; then let them cool to room temperature and refrigerate. About 10 minutes before serving time, prepare the bread crumb mixture and finish the tomatoes.

8 SERVINGS

Note the farmers market on Richland Street has delicious hydroponics tomatoes for sale on Saturday mornings.

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Posted in: Food and drink