The tomato and I have not always been on the best of terms, even though I grew up with access to lovely home grown tomatoes from my grandmother's gardens. I never quite comprehended the conversations I overheard between my mother, aunt and grandmother, discussing the virtues of home grown tomatoes as they happily munched on their mayonnaise laden tomato sandwiches. Why didn't I like tomatoes? The answer was simple, my father did not like them, and still doesn't, therefore I did not like them. Seemed like a reasonable explanation at the time. In hindsight, I am kicking myself for being a late comer to the joys of a tasty tomato.
Now that I have seen the error of my ways, I anxiously search all summer for the perfect bite of a home grown tomato. This year I have had my fair share and have been working on some recipes inspired by this luscious fruit. The recipe I am sharing today is for a savory tomato pie. It has had several iterations over the past few weeks as I experimented with different types of tomatoes, cheeses and herbs, in search of the perfect combination. I put this pie together earlier this week and shared it with some of my amazing friends/guinea pigs.
I hope that you will enjoy these last fleeting weeks of summer and share a slice of this delicious pie with some of your friends and always remember to make every (pie) plate something to be passionate about!
|Beauty Shot: Savory pie topped with fresh herbs and avocado|
1 each red, green and yellow heirloom tomatoes
1 9" pie shell
1 cup grated sharp white cheddar
1 cup grated parmigiano reggianno
1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup light olive oil mayonnaise
2 scallions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped basil
1 Avocado, Diced
1/2 cup mixed fresh herbs including dill, chives and basil
1) Slice tomatoes into 1/4" slices and place in a single layer on a paper towel lined sheet pan. Sprinkle tomatoes with sea salt and cover with another layer of paper towels. Place a second sheet pan on top of the paper towels to act as a weight. Set tomatoes aside and let sit for at least 30 minutes.
|This step is very important and it will help remove moisture from the tomatoes. No one likes a soggy pie!|
3) In a medium sized bowl, combine the remaining ingredients (cheddar through basil) to form the filling
|The filling should be fairly thick, similar to a pimento cheese consistency|
4) Places slices of tomato in a single layer onto the cooled pie crust. You may have to cut some of the tomatoes to fit.
|Squeeze as many tomatoes as you can onto that bottom layer|
5) Scoop all of the filling onto the tomato layer and spread out using the back of a spoon so that none of the tomatoes are showing
|Make sure to spread your filling all the way to the edge of your crust|
6) Arrange the remaining tomatoes on top of the filling.
|I like to cut my tomatoes in half and arrange in a fan shape…do whatever you like, just make it pretty!|
7) Place foil around the crust, so as to avoid over browning. Place the pie in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes, until filling is bubbling and heated through.
|Don't forget to tent the exposed crust with foil. This will prevent it from burring as the filling cooks.|
8) Remove pie from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before garnishing and serving.
*I used a store bought crust for this recipe, but feel free to make your own pastry if you are so inclined. Additionally, this same technique would work equally as well on a free-form galette crust