I don't normally post that many recipes on here because, let's face it, me telling people how to cook would be like the Pope trying to tell people how to be a porn star. It's just wrong on so so so many levels. BUT. I, (unlike the Pope) am going to make an exception here today because OH MY GOODNESS, I have come across the best (read:easiest) recipe for tomato pie, and because I am a wonderful, selfless person, I am going to share it with you (no Vatican hijinks required).
It all started with my lovely little tomato garden, which has been working away, producing the prettiest tomatoes that you've ever seen. (I get a huge kick out of meandering through the garden each day, picking cucumbers and tomatoes and blackberries straight off the vines like it's my own personal farmer's market). The only problem is that we're now officially at the point in the summer where I'm picking more tomatoes than I can eat in any one sitting. I needed some way to be able to use them in a dish...preferably one that used lots and lots of them.
Enter, the tomato pie.
Now, to be completely fair, this is not my recipe. I totally stole it off of Let's Eat. But since I needed to unload some tomatoes fast, and she just happened to have a recipe calling for six of them, I figured I'd give it a go. And oh my goodness, the deliciousness that ensued!
Below is the recipe straight from Let's Eat, with my own little helpful hints in italics:
Tomato Pie (which I'm not really sure does justice to this dish. I mean, when I think pie, I think sweet, and the idea of sweet plus tomatoes is kinda eh. So don't let the name throw you. Call it Super-delicious-tomato-dish if it helps).
6 tomatoes (me again. Let's Eat doesn't comment on the size of the tomatoes that she used, so six may be a bit confusing. Personally, I used 1 beefsteak, 2 good-sized better boys, and a handful of cherry tomatoes. I say just slice 'em up until you have enough to fill the pie crust.)
Pepper (optional) (I dashed some in, in case you were curious)
1 (9-inch) pie crust (By the way, she means the frozen kind here, like you'd use with an apple pie or something. Don't make the mistake I did and think that she means graham cracker. Fair warning).
8 bacon slices, chopped and cooked (I used turkey bacon because I'm trying to get my arteries to see my next birthday)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (I didn't have any fresh, but my little container of dried basil worked just fine...and if you use the dried stuff, better knock it down to 1/8 cup- unless you really really like basil)
1/2 to 3/4 cup mayonnaise (again, I used fat free because, hello, the arteries?)
1 1/2 cups fancy shredded Italian cheese blend (I didn't have any fancy Italian blend on hand, so I did fancy shredded fat-free Cheddar and mozzarella blend...1 cup mozzarella and 1/2 cup cheddar, because that's what was in the fridge. It worked just fine).
1. Preheat oven to 400°. Cut tomatoes into slices, and place slices on paper towels. Sprinkle tomatoes with kosher salt and, if desired, pepper. Let stand for 15 minutes; then flip the tomatoes, and sprinkle with a little more salt. Let stand 15 more minutes. (Best to do this while surfing the 'net or something, because 30 minutes of watching the tomatoes dry out gets boring really fast)
2. Meanwhile, place pie crust in pie plate; crimp edge of crust. Prick holes in crust with a fork; bake for 8 to 10 minutes. (Cook your bacon now too. Eat half the bacon while waiting for the crust to finish. Cook more bacon. Swat Tony's hand when he comes downstairs and goes, "Oooooh! Bacon!)
3. Layer half of tomato slices in prepared crust. Sprinkle with half of bacon and basil. Layer remaining half of tomatoes; sprinkle with remaining bacon. (Easy enough).
4. Combine mayonnaise, shredded cheese, and remaining basil in a small bowl. Spread mixture over top of tomatoes. (Next time, I'm going to go a little easier on the mayo so that it doesn't overpower the cheese/tomato combo. A little dab'll do ya' here).
5. Bake for 25 minutes. (It kinda resembles a deep-dish pizza when it comes out, only with whole tomatoes instead of sauce. But the taste! The taste is just fabulous! Soooo good!)
So that's it. It reminds me a lot of a BLT only without the L. Or like tomato and mozzarella appetizers, only with bacon. (And as we all know, bacon can make anything better!) It's a little hard to get the pieces out of the pie plate (note to self: might want to use smaller tomato slices next time), but it doesn't really matter because you'll end up licking the pie plate clean anyway. Combine it with a salad starter and you have a yummy dinner that makes eating your veggies oh so good.