When I tell people that I'm eating "Tomato Pie" it often generates a quizzical look. Most people - especially Americans - equate pie with sweetness, with dessert. Tomato pie of course is a savory dish and one that has been a summer staple in my family for many years. A photo of this summer favorite has generated a lot of requests for the recipe and I'm happy to oblige.
I am uncertain of the provenance of this recipe. My mother introduced it to me and my siblings growing up though I doubt I had any interest in it until my late teens. I know for certain that my mother and sister still make it and my wife has become the standard bearer in our house.
- 1 pie crust (homemade is best but frankly, Pillsbury has a soft refrigerated one that more than gets the job done).
- 1-1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
- 5 medium size ripe tomatoes (preferably homegrown or farmer's market)
- 1 cup fresh, loosely packed basil leaves
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- Make a pie crust or pre-bake Pillsbury pie crust according to package directions (usually 9 minutes). Remove from oven. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
- Cut tomatoes into wedges. Drain on paper towels. Arrange on top of cheese in baked pie shells. (Photo 1)
- In food processor, combine basil and garlic. Process until coarsely chopped. Sprinkle over tomatoes.
- In mixing bowl, combine remaining cheese, mayo, Parmesan cheese and pepper. Spoon over basil mixture.
- Bake in 375º oven for 35-40 minutes or until golden and bubbly. (Photo 2)
- Serve. (Note: It's screaming hot, so letting it sit for 5-10 minutes might be appropriate)
- Hearty enough to be a meal in itself but pairs well with fish, fresh corn on the cob, and booze.
- Garlic lovers can amp up the garlic to their heart's desire.
- What the hell... heavy-up the mayo and cheeses while you're at it.
- If there's one secret to this recipe it's using good tomatoes and fresh basil. Related: Sometimes cherry tomatoes are your best bet.
|Photo 1 - This is your pie after steps 2 and 3|
|Photo 2 - Remove from oven when it's golden and bubbly.|