These little guys can be quite a controversy but worldwide, we love them! It doesn’t matter how to pronounce them or if you treat them more like a vegetable than a fruit, tomatoes are just succulent! They are incredibly versatile; used in sauces, stews as well as desserts… that’s right, you read correctly – dessert! Tomatoes are fun to cook with!
Now this trivia will blow your mind… Did you know that there are over 20,000 varieties of tomatoes in the world? It is incredible and apparently the number just keeps growing – as well as botanically… lol! It is a plant that millions of people love to grow.
Summer is here and of course we tend to cook almost everything and anything on the BBQ. David and I have a love affair with it! Our dream is to have a big backyard with a pool and a very large BBQ area for a smoker, charcoal and pizza oven. We just love grilling food!
One side dish I’ve been making for years for its simplicity but also for its amazing freshness is “Tomates à la Provençale” or if you prefer “Tomatoes Provencal” – hey I’m French… of course I’ll say it that way… lol! With a beautiful mix of fresh herbs that I grow on the patio, this recipe pairs so well with any grilled meat. There are a lot of people who cook this in the oven… I prefer it on the barbie! Why starting the oven when it’s barbecue season?
Next time you want a delicious recipe using your garden tomatoes, think about this one. It takes 5 minutes to put the mixture together and after grilling it for another 5, you’ll have a flavorful side dish with your meal. It can’t get any fresher than that!
- 1 large tomato, washed and halved
- 1/4 cup Panko®
- 1 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 large clove garlic, pressed
- 2 big basil leaves, chopped
- 1/2 tbsp. fresh chives, chopped
- 1 tbsp. flat or curley leaf parsley, chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste (I always use mixed peppercorns)
- 1 small pinch ground Himalayan sea salt
- 1 1/2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- Cayenne pepper, to taste
FOOTNOTE: You can always cook them in the oven at 350ºF for 10 to 15 minutes and then turn the broiler on; cook until the top is browned.