6 firm, ripe, red tomatoes, about 3 inches in diameter

salt and pepper

1 to 2 cloves mashed garlic

3 tablespoons minced shallots or green onions

4 tablespoons minced fresh basil and parsley, or parsley only

1/8 teaspoon thyme

¼ teaspoon salt

big pinch of pepper

¼ cup olive oil

½ cup crumbs from fresh white bread with body


1.   Preheat oven to 400*.

2.  Cut off the top third from each tomato, discarding it, and scoop out the seeds with a small spoon.  Brush the outside of the tomatoes with oil and put the tomatoes, cut side up, on a lightly oiled jelly roll pan just large enough to hold them easily in one layer; do not crowd them. Season the insides of the tomatoes with salt and pepper.

3.  Blend the remaining ingredients together in a mixing bowl.  Correct seasoning.  Divide mixture equally between tomatoes and sprinkle each with a few drops of olive oil. (May be prepared ahead to this point.)

4.  Shortly before you are ready to serve, place them in the upper third of the preheated oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the tomatoes are tender but hold their shape, and the bread crumb filling has browned lightly.

adapted from Julia Child, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, volume one

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