Saturday, July 28, 2012

On the menu: Tomatoes Provencal

With our abundant tomato crop this summer, I've been experimenting with newly discovered tomato recipes and have found another delicious, international dining inspiration.

Image via French Essence.

This recipe for Tomatoes Provencal comes from author Vicki Archer, an ex-pat living and loving life in the South of France. I came to know her work after reading her books  'My French Life' and 'French Essence' a couple of years ago. I highly recommend them both.

She also writes a blog entitled, 'French Essence' from her farmhouse in Saint Rémy de Provence. But, I digress. Vicki's yummy recipe for summer's bounty notes she chooses "tomatoes that are as ripe and as red as possible without being over" ripe. She always buys them several days in advance and leaves them on the table to fully ripen.

If you have a garden, as we do, I would pick them ripe from the bush the morning of preparation.

RECIPE: TOMATOES PROVENCAL

Ingredients:
15 tomatoes (serves 10 people)
6 cloves of garlic
Olive Oil
Sea Salt (Le Saunier de Camague, if available)
Basil

Directions:
Pre-heat the oven to 150 degrees.
Wash tomatoes and cut the tops off, about one third into the tomato.
Place the tomatoes face up on a flat non stick baking tray.
Add 5 or 6 generous cloves of garlic to the tray.
Splash olive oil over the tomatoes. A generous pour but don’t drown the tomatoes.
Sprinkle liberally with sea salt. This salt makes all the difference, and Le Saunier de Camargue* is recommended.
Bake in the oven for at least 4 hours. Then, turn the oven off and leave tomatoes in there for another hour or so.
Serve on a platter and scatter fresh basil on top.

These tomatoes are delicious served warm or cold. Their caramelized texture is perfect with barbecues or as an accompaniment to salads.

* If you cannot find Le Saunier de Camargue Sea Salt in your local store, it can be ordered online from Amazon.


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