Sunday Supper in Provence – Tomatoes Provencal Recipe

Ah, the romance of train travel!  I panic, I rush, I sprint!  Finally, stash the luggage and find my seat…whew!  For the next few hours calm prevails as I look out the window of the high speed train on our way to Provence.  I love peering into the countryside as the ancient villages, farmland and forests pass by so quickly.

It was raining buckets as we descended  from the train and got our bearings in Avignon…now to the car rental and then our long ride.    Luckily, we got a car with GPS that took us on a route we had never traveled which made the ride a new adventure.  We drove along the Rhone river and watched as couples walked hand in hand, babies were pushed in strollers and the elderly looked on with approval.

We arrived in Vaison la Romaine as the sun was setting and pulled up to the bastide (country house) that was to be our home for the next week. It was nestled amid vineyards at the top of a hill.  Mt. Ventoux was on one side and Les Dentelles on the other and the ascending moon in between.

The next morning the rain had vanished and we woke up to this bucolic vision.

It was right before the harvest and the vines were fully laden with their bounty.  Soon the labor would begin to pick the grapes and send them off to be transformed into a lovely Cotes du Rhone.

The house cat, Truffe, named after the black gold in the region, “truffles” would not let me take his picture, but you can see I managed this one.

The next day we loaded the gear and took off for another hillside where the legendary Patricia Wells was waiting for us to work with Jeff on her new cookbook.  We quickly settled in to our assigned jobs and began.

For the remainder of the week we had perfect weather..even the notorious “mistral” behaved…well, somewhat, and at the end of the week we had completed the first half of a book that is sure to be another triumph for Patricia…the recipes are fabulous.

It’s going to be very hard to go back into our normal studio after this one!

As much as I love Paris, it’s wonderful to visit charming, provincial towns and soak in the more “laid back” pace and atmosphere.

One dish that we were served many times in town was Tomatoes Provincal…it usually accompanied chicken or lamb dishes.  I like to serve this for our Sunday supper as a savory addition to the meal with another vegetable, so I don’t serve large tomatoes and I don’t serve 2 per person.  That is why this dish could serve between 4 to 8.

Make it special, make it Sunday!


Tomatoes Provencal

Yield: 4 - 8

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

A savory side dish that is especially nice with chicken or lamb dishes.


4 - medium tomatoes
1 cup bread crumbs (I let my day old French bread bake in the oven for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (try to grate your own, if you can...I like to roughly grate it for this recipe)
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, removed from stem
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, removed from stem
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Drizzle quality olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Wash and core the tomatoes, slice lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
In a bowl, mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, minced garlic, thyme, rosemary, lemon zest together.
Oil the surface of your baking pan.
Place tomatoes on the baking pan face up and sprinkle with salt, pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
Stuff the tomatoes with the bread/cheese/herb mixture.
Bake in oven for 20 minutes, then place under the broiler for about 5 more minutes till nice and golden brown.
Serve immediately.




3 Responses to “Sunday Supper in Provence – Tomatoes Provencal Recipe”

  1. 1

    Fran Stinnett — Monday, October 17, 2011 @ 12:17 pm

    Enjoyed reading about your recent trip to France. Can’t wait to try the recipe. And the photos are fabulous, as always!

  2. 2

    Jeanette — Thursday, October 20, 2011 @ 2:14 am

    Wow, your photos are stunning, and these Tomatoes Provencal are gorgeous!

  3. 3

    Nicole — Thursday, October 20, 2011 @ 3:31 am

    What a beautiful trip– thank you for sharing. Such a classic recipe. Jeff’s photography is outstanding!!

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