These vegan tomatoes provençal (baked tomatoes) are made with flavor-packed summer tomatoes and fresh herbs for an easy side dish!
This summer, I had a goal.
A tomato goal.
In the past, my tomato dreams were confined to containers, and even though container tomatoes can be wonderful, I usually stopped at two plants.
Container tomatoes need large containers, and my deck was TINY.
This year, though, things were different. I (finally) have a plot of land for my garden, and I went a little tomato crazy.
I planted twelve tomato plants-- eleven in the garden, two in containers. Ten plants are still alive, and they're happily producing tomato after tomato.
And of course, we're eating tomatoes provençal.
These tomatoes provençal are a simplified version of Dorie Greenspan's baked tomatoes from her book Around My French Table.
How Many Tomatoes Do I Need?
You can make this recipe with as few or as many tomatoes as you like-- simply adjust the herbs and oil.
The recipe calls for six tomatoes, because if you're going to turn your oven on in the summer, you might as well make it count.
What Kind of Tomatoes Can I Use?
This recipe works best with juicy tomatoes.
Ideally, your tomatoes will release a lot of juice while cooking, and you can baste them with the juices halfway through baking.
If you've got Roma tomatoes, they'll work in this recipe, but they work best when they're in the same pan with other juicier tomatoes.
How to Make Tomatoes Provençal
Core the tomatoes and then slice them in half horizontally.
Place them cut-side up in a baking dish, and drizzle with olive oil.
Sprinkle the tomatoes with salt and fresh herbs. Or use herb salt instead!
Bake the tomatoes for about 20 minutes, and then baste them in their own juices.
Can I Make Tomatoes Provençal Ahead of Time?
You sure can!
Make them up to a day ahead, store them in the fridge, and then eat them cold, cool, warm, or reheat them-- whatever you're in the mood for.
I also like to freeze these baked tomatoes and then use them in sauces or stews later in the year.
Can I Use an Herb Besides Basil for Baked Tomatoes?
Use any mild, tender herb, and follow the recipe as written. Or, use a stronger herb (like rosemary), and use a little less than the recipe calls for.
Why Add the Basil Before Baking?
Normally I add basil at the end of a recipe, and not before a dish goes into the oven.
It's fragile, and it burns easily.
BUT-- in this case, the basil will infuse the tomatoes with a ton of delicious, herbal flavors.
The basil turns dark while you roast it, but as long as you make sure it's coated in oil, it shouldn't burn.
If the darkened basil bothers you, you can add it after baking, or scrape it off the tomatoes before serving.
I also like to throw a little fresh basil onto the tomatoes right before serving.
Make these tomatoes provençal all summer long, and then freeze a few more batches to enjoy a taste of summer all winter long!
Want even more tomato ideas? Try this bruschetta tortellini pasta salad from Killing Thyme.
Tomatoes Provençal (Baked Tomatoes)
- 6 juicy tomatoes, (medium - large), cored and halved horizontally
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup basil, roughly chopped (~3 sprigs), plus more for optional garnish
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Arrange tomatoes in a baking dish, cut-side up.
- Sprinkle tomatoes with salt, and then top with the basil.
- Drizzle the oil over the basil, and then use your fingers to press the basil gently down into the oil. Make sure the herbs are coated with oil (it will help keep them from burning.)
- Bake the tomatoes for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, and use a spoon or baster to pour some of the released juices over the tomatoes.
- Bake another 20 minutes for somewhat firm tomatoes, or 30 minutes for softer tomatoes.
- Remove from the oven, and drizzle more of the released juices over the tomatoes.Top with more fresh basil if desired.
- Use immediately:Serve as a side dish right after baking.Make Ahead + Refrigerate:Make up to 1 day ahead, and keep covered in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Serve cool, room temperature, or gently reheated.Make Ahead + Freeze:Gently press tomatoes and herbs into a glass jar or freezer bag, and cover with oil. Freeze, and use within 10 months. Note: Frozen tomatoes will not retain their shape as well as fresh or refrigerated, but are still delicious when used in sauces or soups.