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Friday
Aug032012

Italian Tomato Pie

Ready for the oven.......

Fresh from the oven.................

This is an unusual recipe, one that if I was flipping through a magazine while waiting at the dentist office, probably would not consider.  The true summer joy, a vine ripened tomato, it’s a flavor you want to keep, but is compromised in canning and freezing.  That exquisite flavor is not lost in this recipe.  

It was a beautiful, sunny Sunday afternoon and Dick had just brought in more ripe tomatoes from the garden.  At that time the garden was behind the barn.  Our friends, Ron and Cindy, dropped in for a visit and “the tomato chest beating” began. Dick and Ron competed in a tomato growing contest every summer and that year, Ron was well ahead, in tomato size.  His garden had produced a two pounder!  Dick’s garden was more prolific; but, as Ron pointed out, smaller tomatoes.  Cindy told me about a tomato pie recipe and was able to remember the ingredients.  It didn’t sound appealing, think the word “pie” was the problem.  We decided to give it a try that afternoon; now a summer favorite.       

                  ITALIAN TOMATO PIE 

9 inch pie shell, pricked and pre-baked for 6 minutes at 450 degrees

2 lbs. tomatoes, peeled, drained and sliced (depending on size, about 3)

1 and ½ cup cheddar or combination of cheeses, grated or diced small

1 cup fresh basil, chives, oregano, scallions or herbs of choice (more or less to taste)

1/3 cup mayonnaise, thinned with juice of 1 lemon (again, more or less lemon juice to taste) 

Slice tomatoes rather thick, salt lightly, place on a cooling rack over newspaper, topped with paper towels.  Let drain about 30 minutes, turn over, lightly salt again and drain for another 30 minutes.  Without draining, the pie can be soggy, depending on the water content of the tomatoes.  Layer cheese in pre-baked shell, then tomatoes, herbs next, then cheese.  Pour or dollop thinned mayonnaise on top and bake at 400 degrees for approximately 25 minutes.

Note:  My choice is fresh basil for the herbs, love the summery, light flavor and it is usually very abundant in the Cinnamon Morning herb pots; occasionally will add scallions, depending on guest preferences.   

Source: Cindy Kirkpatrick   Serves: 6


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