Most tomates provençale served in American restaurants are burnt on the outside and watery and soggy on the inside. In Provence they are prepared quite differently. In the traditional recipe the tomatoes are cooked on top of the stove before being baked, so that all their excess water is cooked away and they look transparent—like candied fruit. In Provence, they say they must look like a vitrail (stained-glass window). This dish is sometimes eaten cold in Nice, but I prefer it warm.
Put the tomato halves upside down on paper towels and drain the excess juice.
Just before serving, sprinkle the tomatoes with bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and
© 1990 Mireille Johnston estate. All rights reserved.