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Easy summer garden meal: Fresh Tomato Pie


The semi-tropical weather we’ve been enjoying this summer has resulted in lots of tomatoes. We are amazed to have basil plants approximately twice as tall as usual. The annual surprise about which plant will produce a bumper crop and which will not continues to keep backyard gardening fresh and interesting. We have enjoyed plentiful basil pesto and a variety of tomato-based dishes.

On our post contemplating what to do with too many tomatoes on AnnArbor.com, a commenter suggested tomato pie and I thought “Yes! That’s what I want for dinner!”

I searched recipes online and in our cookbooks, and the simplest tomato pie caught my attention. I already had a pre-baked homemade pie shell in the refrigerator so this recipe was a cinch — one of those embarrassingly easy recipes that one hesitates to share because it might reveal one to be a slouch. The results were so good that I’ve overcome that resistance.

At this risk of appearing to be a kitchen simpleton, I’ll share the recipe here.

Fresh Tomato Pie

Ingredients
1 (9 inch) pie shell, baked
5 ripe tomatoes, sliced
1 onion
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Ground black pepper to taste
10 leaves of fresh basil, sliced thinly

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Slice and sauté the onion in the butter on medium low until soft. Place in the bottom of the pie shell.
3. Slice tomatoes and arrange them over onions. Add black pepper to taste.
4. In a medium bowl, combine mozzarella, Parmesan, mayonnaise and basil. Spread this mixture evenly over tomatoes.
5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Variations
If you are part of the anti-mayonnaise mob — a vocal minority indeed– you could replace the mayonnaise with two eggs and your result would be a more quiche-like tomato pie.

If you want a healthier version, you could again replace some or all of the mayonnaise with yogurt or low-fat sour cream.

We have made a couple versions of the Fresh Tomato Pie recently. I predict this recipe will remain in heavy rotation until the supply of fresh tomatoes runs out.

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