Recipe: Provencal tomato spread for Julia Child

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Provencal tomato spreadThis recipe first appeared in The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry. It’s loosely based on a dish that I learned to make while studying at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. During the heat of summer, I probably make this once a week and if I have to take something to a party, this is my go-to dish in the summer. You can use as it a spread for crackers or bruschetta, and also as a sauce for simple pan-seared fish or chicken. I’ve even tossed it with warm pasta. It will keep well if stored in a tightly sealed container for up a week. I named it for Julia Child because the first time I made it was for a dinner on August 15th, her birthday. I think she would have liked it.

Confit Provençal aux Tomates
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: French
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 cups
This spread uses quintessential ingredients from the south of France. This is great served on its own with crackers or bread. I also use it to accompany seared or grilled tuna. If you can’t find nicoise olives, substitute another rich, black olive such as kalamata. Makes about 2 ½ to 3 cups.
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red medium bell pepper, peeled, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 3 to 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 6 to 8 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (¾ cup)
  • 12 Nicoise olives, chopped
  • ¾ tablespoon capers
  • 2 cups chopped fresh basil
  1. In a small sauté pan, warm the oil over medium heat. Add bell pepper, onions, and garlic and cook until soft. Add the chopped tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, olives and capers and cook gently. Remove from heat. When cool, add the basil. Add coarse salt and pepper to taste.

This dish requires a fair amount of chopping. You may want to check out my knife skills video.

This post was originally posted June 27th, 2009; it has been updated.

About katflinn

Kathleen Flinn is the author of "The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry," "The Kitchen Counter Cooking School" and "Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good." All are published by Viking/Penguin.


  1. You mean, if I come to this event I get to taste some of your food! I’m so in!

  2. wish I were in Seattle. I remember this from your book but I never tried it. Looks so yummy!

  3. Looks delicious!

  4. Aw, I love Julia!


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