When we were in the South of France...love how that sounds...we would have lunch each day at some little sidewalk bistro...and maybe because the Mediterranean Sea was lapping at the shore or the palm trees were swaying in the breeze or the promise of macarons for dessert were before us...maybe that's why everything we ate tasted so good...delicious...Heavenly. It's nothing short of miraculous that we both lost weight in France - even though we ate our weight in food every day, we walked for hours at a time...from one bistro to another.
Pictured above is the harbor of Marseille...it's a very old city (founded in 2600) and it was in the middle of a face-lift while we were there - jack-hammering and bull-dozing every where we went...but behind all the scaffolding and piles of debris (seriously, the entire city was a construction zone!) we managed to find fabulous food...
Taking a picture of the main part of our meals was easy - but I often overlooked the side dishes - and Provencal Tomatoes are a side dish - so I didn't get a photo of any authentic Provencal Tomatoes...but lucky for me (and you) they are very easy to make ...all you need are some really nice tomatoes...
And it turns out that Provencal Tomatoes look fabulous on a Christmas buffet because they're red and green...Ho-Ho-Ho! But they'd be great for a New Year's buffet, too...or any other buffet...I like the word buffet. And I like buffets. Duh.
(My apologies for not knowing how to type Provencal with that little dohickey under the c - I do what I can with what I've got!)
Provencal Tomatoes - Adapted From Les Meilleures Recettes de Provence by Christian Etienne
15 medium to large tomatoes, washed and dried
1 cup chopped fresh parsley, firmly packed, divided
10 cloves of garlic, minced
4 cups fresh bread crumbs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut tops off tomatoes and make a very small slice on the bottom, just to tomatoes will sit straight. Very carefully, scoop out the insides of the tomatoes, leaving about 1/4-inch all around. Turn tomatoes upside down on paper-toweling to dry for 15 minutes.
In a large bowl combine 3/4 cup parsley with garlic, bread crumbs, salt, pepper and 3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese. Mix well. Stuff tomatoes with bread crumb mixture, stuffing firmly. Place each tomato onto a baking dish or in a cupcake tin, which works great. Top each tomato with a sprinking of the remaining parsley and a sprinkling of the remaining Parmesan cheese. Drizzle olive oil over the tops of each tomato. Bake at 350 for 10 to 15 minutes or until the tomatoes have softened a bit and the tops of the tomatoes are lightly browned. Serve as a side dish. Serves 15, one each.
Think of these as a bite of Provence...they are colorful, delicious and a nice addition to any meal.