Camping enthusiasts looking to expand their meal repertoire beyond hamburgers and hot dogs need The Camp and Cabin Cookbook in their life! One look at this recipe for Provencal Tomatoes cooked in a cast iron skillet over hot coals and you’ll vow to step it up a notch on your next camping or glamping expedition.
Summer vacation means camping season is in full swing and Laura Bashar, author of The Camp and Cabin Cookbook, has compiled her years of experience cooking in the great outdoors on family and Cub Scout camping trips into a handy resource for your kitchen or on the road.
Laura’s love of the outdoors blossomed during college when she went camping with a group of friends. Among them was her future husband, who impressed everyone by bringing skewers and making steak shish kebobs. Years later she married the shish kebob maker and they had three amazing kids together. Camping became a regular activity when their oldest son joined the Cub Scouts and her husband volunteered to be Cubmaster of the pack. Parents and children helped with food prep and they taught the boys to make cakes in a Dutch oven and parents the ease of foil cooking. Laura fell in love with the basic, primal nature of the outdoor cooking experience and the challenge of cooking a fabulous meal over a fire.
In The Camp & Cabin Cookbook: 100 Recipes to Prepare Wherever You Go [The Countryman Press], Laura transforms your idea of campfire cooking with recipes designed for an open fire or camping stove. The recipes are not just for camping — use them for a day at the beach, a picnic, or anytime you feel like dining – and cooking – al fresco! Inside this invaluable resource you’ll find:
- A thorough guide to the required equipment and methods of campfire cooking.
- Recipes utilize cast-iron skillet, Dutch oven, foil packet, and other sturdy methods.
- A minimal equipment list designed for sparsely equipped cabins —most recipes need nothing more than a knife, a bowl, and a skillet.
- Recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus snacks and desserts! (Orange and Spice Upside Down Cake! Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie oh my!)
Full disclosure: Laura and I have been friends in the food blogger universe for many years. I am loving this cookbook because she and I share the same cooking philosophy: Make it pretty. Make it delicious. Make it simple. We eat with all our senses, so we strive to make recipes that are about more than taste. There is texture, aroma, and color associated with every bite and fresh ingredients are key. She, like me, also feels strongly about “eating the rainbow” and all the fruits and vegetables in the recipe are fresh, with frozen being the next best choice for convenience. I chose this recipe for Baked Provencal Tomatoes because, for me, summer is all about juicy, plump garden-fresh tomatoes!
Summer's garden tomatoes are highlighted in this recipe using simple ingredients to deliver a vegetarian dish full of flavor.
- 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 Tbsp fresh thyme
- 4 large tomatoes
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges optional
In a chimney, light up 26 coals.
In a bowl, mash together and combine with a fork the breadcrumbs, olive oil, Parmesan, garlic, and thyme.
Cut the tomatoes in half crosswise and place them on the bottom of your 10-inch Dutch oven, cut side up.
Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper.
Press the stuffing evenly along the tops of the tomatoes, about 2 tablespoons per tomato.
Cover the pot and place 15 coals on top and 9 underneath the Dutch oven (375 degrees).
Bake for 20 minutes until tops are lightly browned.
Serve with lemon wedges (optional).
Alternative cooking methods: You can also make these by wrapping each stuffed tomato in a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place this foil package in a campfire ring, surrounded by ash and hot coals, and cook for approximately 20 minutes. To prepare at home, place stuffed tomatoes on a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake at 375°F for 20 to 25 minutes or until breadcrumbs are lightly brown.
* Eliminate the salt for low sodium diets.