Recipe Honoring Julia Child: Grilled Basil-Walnut Tomatoes Provencal

Grilled Tomatoes Provencal Recipe

Grilled Tomatoes Provencal Recipe Honors Julia Child

I’ll never forget the television clip of Julia Child and David Letterman eating raw hamburger live, on-air, due to a stovetop malfunction. She acted like it was no big deal and it was outrageously hilarious. Her vivacious spirit lives on when her segments are played at food conferences and awards ceremonies and will again on August 15 at the Julia Child 100th Birthday Tribute Dinner. Hosted by Les Dames D’Escoffier – Phoenix Chapter, a portion of the event’s proceeds will help fund our philanthropic efforts. Quiessence restaurant’s chef Greg LaPrad will prepare a four-course meal paired with wines and featuring some of Child’s most iconic recipes,  one of them Tomatoes a la Provencal. Tickets for the event are on sale now. You can even request to be seated at my table.

Buy tickets to the Julia Child 100th Birthday Tribute Dinner. More details: Pat Christofolo, 480-471-5224

I was inspired to create this recipe since as often as possible I avoid using the oven during the summer. It is essential to use fresh breadcrumbs here, and I love Child’s technique of gently squeezing the tomato halves to remove some of the water, therefore concentrating the taste.

What are your fond of memories of Julia Child?

 

Recipe Honoring Julia Child: Grilled Basil-Walnut Tomatoes Provencal

4 firm, large (3-inch, or 7.5-cm) tomatoes, cut in half horizontally

1 clove garlic

1 slice 100% whole-wheat bread, torn into pieces (or about 1/2 cup, or 25 g crumbs)

2 tablespoons (10 g) grated Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon (10 g) chopped walnuts

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt, divided

3 tablespoons (45 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 cup (40 g) loosely packed basil leaves, stacked, rolled and very thinly sliced (1/2 cup, or 20 g chiffonade)

 

Preheat grill on medium-high (400°F, 200°C, or gas mark 6).

Arrange tomatoes on a plate or sheet pan, cut side up.

Mince garlic in a food processor. Add bread and run until crumbs. Add Parmesan, walnuts, pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon salt; pulse a few times while drizzling in 2 tablespoons (28 ml) oil, just until walnuts are chopped fine but not mealy. Remove blade and stir in basil.

Drizzle tomatoes with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil and sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt, smearing tomato bottoms in oil to prevent them from sticking to the grill. Evenly sprinkle breadcrumb topping on tomatoes and press in very lightly with fingers.

Oil grill and place tomatoes cut side up on the medium-hot part of the grill. Cook for 10-15 minutes until topping is golden and tomatoes are tender, not mushy. Remove the skins prior to eating, if desired.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Makes 4 servings, 2 halves each

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 172 calories, 13 g total fat (2 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 238 mg sodium, 3 mg cholesterol, 11 g total carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 5 g protein, 5% DV iron, 7% DV calcium, 36% DV Vitamin A, 40% DV Vitamin C.

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Grilled Basil-Walnut Tomatoes Provencal

Grilled Tomatoes Provencal Recipe

By Michelle Dudash, Chef and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Published: July 12, 2012

  • Yield: 2 halves each (4 Servings)
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Ready In: 35 mins

Honor legendary chef Julia Child with this delicious summer recipe.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat grill on medium-high (400°F, 200°C, or gas mark 6).
  2. Arrange tomatoes on a plate or sheet pan, cut side up.
  3. Mince garlic in a food processor. Add bread and run until crumbs. Add Parmesan, walnuts, pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon salt; pulse a few times while drizzling in 2 tablespoons (28 ml) oil, just until walnuts are chopped fine but not mealy. Remove blade and stir in basil.
  4. Drizzle tomatoes with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil and sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt, smearing tomato bottoms in oil to prevent them from sticking to the grill. Evenly sprinkle breadcrumb topping on tomatoes and press in very lightly with fingers.
  5. Oil grill and place tomatoes cut side up on the medium-hot part of the grill. Cook for 10-15 minutes until topping is golden and tomatoes are tender, not mushy. Remove the skins prior to eating, if desired.

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