Baked Tomatoes Provençal

Here’s a great way to use late summer’s bumper crop of tomatoes. Seasoned with the characteristic herbs of Provence, plus a touch of briny black olives, this recipe can easily double if you have a surplus of tomatoes.

Serves: 4

  • 4 medium-large ripe, firm organic tomatoes
  • 2 large slices whole-grain bread
  • 4 to 6 imported black olives, pitted and minced
  • 3 to 4 basil leaves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, minced, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/4 teaspoon dried
  • 1 clove garlic, minced, optional
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Cut the tomatoes in half. Scoop out just the seedy pulp, and reserve it for another use. Arrange the tomatoes in a shallow 8- or 9-inch square baking dish.

Process the bread in a food processor until it is reduced to fine crumbs. Combine the crumbs in a mixing bowl with olives, herbs, and optional garlic. Sprinkle in the olive oil to coat the mixture evenly, then stir together. Season gently with salt and pepper, then divide the crumb mixture evenly among the tomato halves.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until the tomatoes are tender but still retain their shape. Serve warm.

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