tomatoes provencal can be scaled for any number of diners
Ever since Emily went away to college, I’ve tried to scale down the “serves” ratio in my cooking. It used to be that I’d make a recipe that “served 6”, and have enough for one dinner as well as leftovers for another meal. Less work for me, right?
But “serves 6” doesn’t work for just two of us because although Scott is fine with leftovers once, he’d prefer not to have the same dish resurrected a third or fourth time. And once a vegetable has been cooked and served — for him, it crosses the line to mushy (pronounced moo-she) – and therefore, inedible.
So, these seared and roasted tomatoes are perfect for us because they make exactly two. Half for him, half for me. And, if we’re having company, I double or triple the servings for my guests. I like easy scalability.
As far as prep, it’s quick and simple. Slice and seed a tomato. Sear the cut side in a pan with a little olive oil. Zhuzsh a piece of bread with some fresh herbs in a mini food processor and toss with a little olive oil.
I sprinkle some chopped garlic over the tomatoes and top with the herbed breadcrumbs. Then it’s a quick roast in a hot oven while Scott grills a pork chop or slices up a rotisserie chicken. Roasting intensifies vegetable flavor while mellowing out any sharpness or acidity. And you know how the house smells warm and inviting when your making tomato sauce? It’s the same with these tomatoes.
Try them for brunch, too, with your favorite quiche and sliced smoked salmon.
- 1 large ripe tomato
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 slice bread (whole wheat, white or sourdough) crusts removed
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Slice tomato in half crosswise. Scoop seeds out of the tomatoes. Sprinkle the tomato halves with salt and pepper.
- Place a cast iron or heavy skillet on the stove and turn the heat on to medium high. Add one tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet and tip it around to coat the bottom of the skillet. Add the tomatoes, cut side down to the hot skillet. Cook for 3 minutes, until slightly softened and seared.
- Remove from heat and carefully flip tomatoes over so the cut sides are up. Sprinkle the minced garlic over the tomatoes. Drizzle half a tablespoon of olive oil over each tomato.
- Place the bread and thyme leaves into a mini prep food processor and pulse to fine bread crumbs. Toss the breadcrumbs with the last tablespoon of olive oil to coat.
- Divide the breadcrumbs over each tomato half. Place the skillet in the oven. Roast for 15 minutes.