There’s one type of recipe I really love. Recipes that look complicated but are really simple. Roasted tomatoes with herby breadcrumbs look like they were made by an experienced chef, but can easily be nailed by a home cook. So, next time you want to blow your guests, family or even just yourself away, this recipe is for you.
Roasted tomatoes with herby breadcrumbs
Based off a French dish called tomato provencal, this is the easy way to start your journey into French cooking. In fact, tomato provencal was featured in Julia Child’s classic book Mastering the Art of French Cooking. And, it was Ms. Child herself that recommended what this dish goes with, and surprise surprise – it goes with everything.
“One of the most savory ways of serving tomatoes is à la provençale. These tomatoes go well with many things — steaks, chops, roast beef, lamb, roast or broiled chicken, broiled mackerel, tuna, sardines, herring or swordfish. They may also be a hot hors d’oeuvre, or accompany egg dishes.”
So, straight from the master’s mouth and into yours – let’s get into my own take on tomato provencal: roasted tomatoes with herby breadcrumbs.
Fresh, plump, juicy tomatoes – the perfect summer dish. This recipe suits all tomato types. I love an heirloom tomato, but a roma tomato would also fit this recipe. Just make sure it’s sliced in half so that it becomes a vessel for the tasty and crunchy crumbs.
One of the things that makes this my own recipe and not Ms. Child’s is that I use a touch of sugar with the tomatoes to really caramelise them. It softens the skin and adds a sweetness to the dish to cut through the savoury topping.
I love making my own breadcrumbs. Yes, you can get premade ones or the ever growing in popularity panko crumbs, but I just love making my own. It gives the possibility of turning it into so many flavours by adding in what you and your family like! Parmesan! Rosemary! Chilli flakes! Lemon zest! The world, my friend, is your oyster – or it is your breadcrumb. No two breadcrumbs are the same!
This is the best part – this is so simple. All you need is a food processor and a pan. Roast those tomatoes down and cook them for a long time because this will take the bitterness and toughness out of the skin.
What does roasted tomatoes with herby breadcrumbs go with?
This recipe literally goes with so many things! If you’re serving a big family style feast with pastas and meats, this can be a beautiful side component. But it can also be the main star of the show if you like! It’s a great alternative to a steak that isn’t chips. It’s a perfect accompaniment to a pan fried piece of fish. And you can’t look past even more breadcrumbs as it goes along with my chicken cutlet.
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Roasted tomatoes with herby breadcrumbs
- 5 ripe tomatoes halved
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 4 slices white stale bread
- 30 g fresh parsley
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
- 3 garlic cloves peeled
- 3 shallots peeled
- salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C / 400 degrees F.
- Sprinkle the tomatoes with a generous amount of salt and the sugar. Leave to sit for 2 minutes.
- In an oven proof heavy based pan on a medium – high heat, bring 3tbsp olive oil to heat. Place the tomatoes into the pan, flesh side down and cook for 5 minutes or until slightly caramelised.
- While the tomatoes cook, prepare the breadcrumbs. Place all remaining ingredients into a food processor and blend until you have a chunky texture.
- Flip the tomatoes over so they are skin side down and sprinkle a tablespoon of breadcrumbs over each slice of tomato. Sprinkle a little of the remaining breadcrumbs around the tomatoes. They will become so golden and crunchy! Drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and crack over black pepper.
- Bake the tomatoes for 25 – 30 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden and crunchy. Serve immediately as a side dish to your favourite meal.