PROVENÇAL STUFFED TOMATOES

Serves 6–8
By: Chef John Besh

I want you to use whatever kind of tomato you can find that’s locally grown. I grew up eating our sweet Creole tomatoes but, nowadays, I use what ever we have on our farm. Medium or large, red, yellow or orange, it makes no difference as long as they’re fresh and flavorful.

6 medium tomatoes
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 sprigs basil
2 pinches salt
1/2 cup bread crumbs, dry
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350°. Cut the tomatoes in half width-wise and remove the core. Place in a casserole dish, cut side up, generously sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil.

In a food processor or blender, add the 1/2 cup olive oil, garlic, basil, salt, bread crumbs and Parmesan, and process for about 1 minute. The mixture should have a wet, crumbly consistency.

Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture onto the tomato tops. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the top is browned and the tomato is warmed through.