Provençal Stuffed Tomatoes Recipe

A satisfying classic French tomato dish flavoured with fresh herbs.

  • COOK 30 mins
  • LEVEL average
  • BATCH Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 large, firm-fleshed tomatoes (each about 250g/8oz)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
  • 150g (5oz) fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6.
  2. Cut across the top of each tomato to slice off a ‘cap’ and reveal the seedy pulp inside. Using a small, sharp knife, carefully loosen the pulp from the tomato sides, then scrape out with a spoon – discarding the pulp and seeds – to make four hollow tomato shells. Sprinkle a little salt inside the tomato shells to draw out the juices, then turn upside down and set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan set over a low heat. Add the chopped shallot and garlic and fry gently, stirring often, until softened (without allowing them to brown). Add the breadcrumbs, mix well and fry for 1–2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the thyme, chives, parsley and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper. 
  4. Arrange the tomato shells in a lightly oiled baking dish and fill them with the breadcrumb mixture. Top with the grated Parmesan cheese. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the Parmesan cheese is golden brown. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Recipe taken from The Mediterranean Table (£19.99, Ryland Peters & Small, ryland peters.com).