Roasted tomatoes, Provence-style
If you choose to make this dish the classic way, you will need breadcrumbs. For this, the best solution I’ve found is to make them fresh each time by crushing a couple of biscotte toasts with a rolling pin. Biscottes are the French version of zwieback crackers. Either will work, and will have a fresher taste than breadcrumbs bought in a box.
2 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
4 tbsp. breadcrumbs or 2 biscotte or zwieback toasts
3 tbsp. finely minced fresh parsley
1/4 tsp. salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp. olive oil
Preheat the oven to gas mark 6 (400 F, 205 C). Wash the tomatoes, remove the stems and and slice them in half crosswise. Oil a roasting dish just big enough to hold the tomato halves. Place the tomatoes in the roasting dish, sides touching.
If you are using biscottes or zwieback to make your breadcrumbs, do that now. Place the toasts on a flat wooden board and roll over them several times with a rolling pin until all that is left is fine crumbs.
Place the breadcrumbs in a small mixing bowl. Put the garlic through a press into the bowl. Add the parsley, salt, pepper and 1 tsp. olive oil. Stir to make a paste.
Spoon the paste over the tomato halves. Drizzle with the other teaspoon of olive oil. Bake 30 minutes or until sizzling on top and beginning to brown on the sides. Serves 2-4.
For a lighter version of this dish, omit the breadcrumbs. It is still delicious. And if you feel like innovating, other herbs may be used instead of the parsley. Basil is great, and so is thyme. Or you can experiment.