Tomates Provençales

I am picking this recipe for today to get in the mood of France; the tomatoes have to be hand-picked as they must be both ripe but still firm, and if possible roughly the same size for even cooking. Cut them in half horizontally, and squeeze them gently to remove the seeds or some of the seeds anyway. Then, they are put face-down in a frying pan greased with 2 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil to simmer gently with a lid for the first 3 minutes and then without to let the extra water evaporate. Three quarters of the way through the cooking, turn them over and sprinkle each tomato carefully spreading a mixture of minced garlic and fresh curly parsley. Also sprinkle a very little bit of superfine bread-crumbs on top. Yes, the salt and pepper as well.

Hint:Cut the garlic cloves in half, remove the green germ in the centre, then cut again vertically, and slice the four quarters in the thinest slices you can achieve using a paring knife. A big chef knife is not a good tool for this, a small knife with a thin blade works best. The garlic press is not the traditional way and you might be charged with high treason if you admit using it! So, that is at your own risk.

Moulin a persil

The parsley can be chopped with a knife or in a “moulin à persil” which does the job nicely.

My little secret: completely unofficial and illegal,  and not to be revealed; Well, you can add one tbsp of balsamic to the olive oil once the water has evaporated…to deglaze any juices crystallized in the bottom of the frying pan.

Last: You can do the first half of the cooking in the frying pan and finish in the oven if you need your burner for something else. Some people make those in the oven but I do not recommend it as they will be seating in too much water.

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