Monday, August 15, 2011

Breadcrumb Stuffed Tomatoes

Julia Child and I share the same birthday, August 15th, so it feels right that I've been slowly working my way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking this past week. She would have been 99 this year, although mine is just a mini-milestone 30. I didn't mean to commemorate her around my birthday, it was just a happy accident this cookbook called out to me from the shelf at the library last week.

After I got into the book, I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed by the technicality and precision of the recipes, let alone the diversity of the food culture. (Pate? Brains? Aspics?) I am connecting most with the Egg Chapter and Vegetable Chapter. I haven't made it into the Desserts and Cakes chapter...I still have 2 more weeks on my library hold!

This recipe is called "Tomatoes a la Provencale" in the book, but I don't feel French or "cool" enough to try to call my version that!

Breadcrumb Stuffed Tomatoes
Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking

6 tomatoes about 4 inches in diameter
Salt and Pepper

1 clove finely minced garlic
3 tablespoons minced onion
4 tablespoons fresh basil or parsley or parsley only (I used 1 tsp dried herbs)
1/8 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs (I used some from my freezer bread bag)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the tomatoes in half crosswise, and gently press out the juice and seed. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
Combine garlic, onion, herbs, salt, pepper, olive oil and bread crumbs in a bowl. Fill each tomato half with a spoonful or two of the mixture, dividing the mixture among all the tomatoes. Arrange the halves in a roasted pan. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until tomatoes are tender and the bread crumbs are browned lightly.

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