It's Monday again, and those beautiful heirloom tomatoes from the farmer's market are sitting on the counter. Almost too pretty to eat. I had big plans for them. Maybe a tomato tart, or a fancy panzanella salad. But my youngest daughter gets home from college today, and her 20th birthday is Tuesday. These tomatoes will just have to get the minimal treatment.
This recipe is authentic--- My inspiration comes from Dani, who made them on her trip to France last year. She got her recipe from a cookbook that was in the kitchen of the home they were renting. But this dish has vintage American cache, too. They would have been right there, next to your steak, throughout the 50s, 60s at any restaurant worth its salt.
And satisfying---they hit all the high points: crunchy, cheesy, juicy, fresh, and sweet.
Not to mention healthy---there's no reason these can't be a meal, with a loaf of bread to soak up all the juices, a salad, and some wine.
makes 6 tomatoes
oven to 350
6 tomatoes, they should be somewhat firm
- Slice the tops off the tomatoes and scoop out just a little from the center of each.
- Arrange the tomatoes in an oven proof dish and sprinkle them with:
fresh cracked pepper
some herbes de Provence
a sprinkle of lemon juice
- In a small bowl mix together:
about 1/3 cup fresh herbs of your choice, finely chopped
1 or 2 cloves of garlic, minced (optional)
about 1/2 cup grated hard Italian cheese of your choice
- Sprinkle the mixture heavily over each tomato, filling the cavities. You can use any herbs you like, I used a combination of tarragon, basil, chives and thyme because that's what I had around.
- Drizzle the tomatoes liberally with:
- Bake for about 15 minutes, then put them under the broiler briefly to get browned.
Notes: These are best eaten hot from the oven. If your tomatoes are small, reduce the cooking time or they will get mushy. You can sprinkle them with extra cheese before broiling if you like.
Now I'm off to find a really good birthday cake to make!