Wednesday, August 17, 2011

summer party in your mouth: tomato pie!

I love tomato pie.  I've been making it in the summer for a few years now, and it only gets more delicious every time we eat it.  And it is the perfect dish for one of my favorite summer produces: tomatoes!  My babysitter and her fiance came over for dinner last night just for fun.  She is also a vegetarian about to marry a carnivore, so this was great to make.  It can be the main event or a really good side dish.  Your choice.  The guys ate it with huge steaks, and seemed almost as happy to eat the tomato pie.  Almost.  Anyway, as you peruse this recipe, let me say: just trust me.  It may not look awesome, but it IS!  Run out and get all these ingredients:

1 pie crust
4 medium tomatoes
1 small sweet onion, sliced and sauteed
1/4 c. fresh basil
3/4 c. mayonnaise
2 c. shredded cheddar
1/4 c. goat cheese
1/4 t. hot sauce
salt and pepper

First, roll out your pie crust into your pan.  I highly recommend the store-bought kind.  But, my babysitter is a true vegetarian, and the store-bought kind uses lard.  So I had to make my crust from scratch using shortening.  It turned out pretty well!  I used this recipe.  You can tell I made it from scratch cause it looks pretty ugly.

If you're using the store-bought, then bake it for about 10 minutes at 350 all by its lonesome.  If you're using homemade crust, then line it with foil and bake for 10 minutes, remove the foil, and then bake another 10 minutes also at 350.  Whilst your crust is baking, slice your tomatoes to your own desired thickness and layer them between paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible.  Press down on the towels to get it all out.  You want tomato pie, not soup.

Also get to your basil and chiffonade it.  It's just a fancy way of slicing it thinly.  It's really simple if you do it like this: first stack your leaves.

Then roll them up length-wise.

Then get to slicing!  Easy-peasy.

I have also substituted rosemary and thyme with delicious success.  You could probably even use tarragon (for you, Jo).  But there is just something oh so right about tomatoes and basil coming together in yummy harmony.  Now's the time to mix up the mayo, cheese and hot sauce.  I have also substituted other cheeses, but trust me, sharp cheddar with goat cheese tastes best.  Mix it all well until it is a cheesy, gooey mess.  If you want it as a main dish and are a meat eater, you could add some crumbled bacon here. 

When the crust is ready, layer half of your tomatoes at the bottom and sprinkle them lightly with salt and pepper. 

Add half your onions on top, and half of your basil.

Repeat the layering, and then spread your cheesy-mayo mixture on top.  It works best to spread it around with your hands.  Which is probably unappetizing to any company you may have, so I suggest hiding in your kitchen, or maybe doing it before hand.

After I got my topping all nice and spread out, I realized I had forgotten to put in the basil.  Can I EVER get a recipe right?  Apparently not.  So I tried to carefully lift up sections of the tomatoes and shove it in, but a lot ended up in the topping, too.  It did not affect the taste in any way, so we still had a happy ending.  I know you were worried.

Bake this delicious concoction for about 25 minutes at 350 or until the top is golden brown.  Brace yourself for the awesome smell that will fill up your kitchen. 

Doesn't that just look amazing?  It tastes even better.  The babysitter loved it, as did her carnivorous fiance, and they happily took home the leftovers.

The leftovers are almost better the next day served cold.  My babysitter confirmed this for me today!  Feel free to mix up a batch of Sangria to go with it to complete the perfect summer meal.  Enjoy the yumminess!

1 comment:

  1. Oh my Gosh! This looks heavenly! I will try this one for sure! What are the best onion and tomato types to use? I can't wait to make that! When it's all finished, it looks like a deep dish pizza pie! Thanks for sharing!


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