My husband does not like fresh tomatoes. So in order to get him to eat more tomatoes (which are high in cancer-fighting qualities, especially men’s cancers), I have to cook it in some way. Well, the joke is on him, because cooking actually increases tomatoes’ healthy benefits – yes, tomato it is one of very few vegetables (fruits, technically) that actually are better for you after they have been cooked – whereas most veggies and fruit are best in the raw form. Cooking releases more of the lycopene – the tomato’s anti-cancer weapon.
And tomato “Provençal” (or so I have called it), is one of my favorite ways to serve a tomato, quickly cooked and with minimal preparation. It makes a fun, delicious little side dish.
All I have done is cut the top half off of a small to medium-sized whole tomato, and sit it cut-side up on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with some salt and broil for about 5-7 minutes. In the meantime, mix a tablespoon of olive oil, a tablespoon of herbes de Provence, and a crushed garlic clove. Pull the tomatoes out, cover each one with the herbs and garlic mix and broil for another 5-7 minutes. Done!! The combination of tomato, all sweet and juicy after it is cooked, herbes de Provence and garlic is so very… well, Provençal!!
For the pasta and shrimp, just sauté some salted and peppered shrimp in a bit of olive oil and remove. Add about a 1/3 cup of white wine to the pan and let simmer and deglaze for a few minutes. Now add about 2 tablespoons of cold butter. When the butter melts and combines with the wine, pour the sauce over some cooked pappardelle pasta, and add the cooked shrimp back in. Toss all the ingredients together and finish with a bit more salt, pepper, and lemon juice/zest. Fast and delicious!!