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Tomatoes Provencale (D/P, TNT)
Source: "Annemarie's Personal Cookbook," by Annemarie Huste
Serves: 4

1 tbsp. butter or margarine, room temperature (for greasing pan)
4 large firm, ripe whole tomatoes
1/4 cup dried unseasoned bread crumbs
3 tbsp. minced fresh parsley
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 large clove garlic, peeled and crushed in garlic press (or minced)
1 tsp. dried sweet basil leaves
1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
1/8 tsp. black pepper (or to taste), preferably freshly ground

Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease an 8" square baking pan. Set aside.

Place several layers of paper towels over working surface. Cut a slice (about 1/4" thick) from the stem end of each tomato. Using a teaspoon, gently scoop out centers, leaving a shell approximately 1/4" thick. Take care not to break the skin. Invert shells over paper towels (to drain). Set aside.

While tomatoes are draining, coarsely chop reserved tomato pulp. Transfer tomato pulp and any juices to small mixing bowl. Add bread crumbs, parsley, garlic, olive oil, basil, salt, and pepper. Stir until thoroughly combined.

Gently spoon filling mixture into tomato shells, dividing it evenly between all eight shells. Stand tomatoes, stuffing side upward, in the buttered baking dish. If desired, replace the tops. (I never do so; my filling always seems to be rounded over the tops.). Bake, uncovered, until tender and golden brown, about 25 minutes.

Serve hot. This makes an excellent side dish for such dishes as a cheese soufflé, or with eggs at a brunch.

Variation: Before baking, sprinkle tomatoes with 1/4 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.

Poster's Notes:
This is a simple but delicious way to make broiled tomatoes to serve as a side dish. I found the recipe in the first cookbook I ever purchased, "Annemarie's Personal Cookbook," by Annemarie Huste, former chef to Jacqueline Kennedy, and owner of a renowned cooking school and catering service), and made them all the time.

When fresh basil is readily available, I'd substitute a tbsp. of freshly minced basil for the dried. However, if using dried, the "sweet" is important.

Posted by Virginia Sauer (Sir Angus), Z'L

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A