Tomatoes, fresh from the vine, are one of summer’s greatest gifts. There’s so many ways to use them, but few are simpler or more delicious than a tomato pie. When I first heard the term “tomato pie” – I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Was it sweet? It was after all pie, right? But, after one bite I was hooked.
Tomatoes and onions are layered in pre-baked pie shell, then topped with a mixture of cheeses and fresh basil. So, yeah, it’s essentially a crust of cheese. How can you argue with that? My girlfriend made a couple for our book club this past weekend, and I’m afraid I might have eaten an entire pie to myself if they’d have let me! With all the fresh tomatoes I had in a colander on the counter, I knew I had to make one to share with you guys!
I did tweak a few things. First, I sliced the tomatoes, then salted and let sit for a few minutes to strain liquid out. I like the layers! I sauteed the onions with a bit of garlic before adding them to the pie. Added a drizzle of balsamic before topping with the cheese mixture. Traditionally that mixture is mayonnaise, and then various cheeses. I wanted to lighten it up a bit, so I subbed half the mayo for Greek yogurt – and, as always, I love the slight tang that it lended to the dish!
If your lucky enough to have an abundance of tomatoes right now, do yourself a favor and make this pie! Or, better yet, make two – because they’ll go fast. Apparently they freeze great too. Stick it in the fridge the night before to defrost, then bake as usual. I’m definitely making a couple more to freeze before tomatoes are gone for good. It would be wonderful to enjoy this summery goodness in January!
1 9-inch pie shell
1/2 onion, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 tomatoes, sliced in 1/4-inch slices
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 cups grated cheese (Cheddar, Mozzarella, Monterey Jack)
1/3 cup mayonaise
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
salt, freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350F. Place pie shell in oven and cook for 8-10 minutes or longer until lightly golden. If you are starting with a frozen crust, you’ll need to cook it a little longer. If you are using a homemade crust, freeze the crust first, then line the crust with aluminum foil and pre-bake it for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake an additional 10 minutes.
Place the sliced tomatoes in single layer on a cooling rack placed inside a baking pan, and sprinkle both sides with kosher salt. Let sit 15 minutes to let liquids drain.
Add olive oil to a medium skillet over medium high heat, and saute the onions until starting to brown on the edges. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Remove from heat.
Sprinkle the bottom of the pre-cooked pie shell with the onions and garlic. Place the sliced tomatoes in even layers on top of the onions. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle the sliced basil over the tomatoes.
In a medium bowl, mix together the grated cheese, mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, a sprinkling of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Spread the cheese mixture over the tomatoes.
Bake at 350, uncovered, until brown and bubbly – about 35 minutes. Let cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.
Source: adapted from my friend Sarah via Simply Recipes