What are you up to this weekend?
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We’re laying low and taking it easy, with nary a plan in sight
Admittedly, I can’t wait for some extra downtime. I’m really stiff and sore after a fall from my bike this week
It was nearing midnight as I packed up my things and headed home from the library. Such a beautiful summer evening to ride across campus beneath the glow of the walkway lights. A wave to the college kids sitting on their front porch. Two shiny eyes of a kitty cat crossing the road. It froze. I swerved and toppled over (ps: there was absolutely no grace involved)
As I slowly regained my composure, assessing what hurt and where; hurried footsteps and voices in the darkness. “Dude, the lady. Did she just fall? Wait, she’s in the middle of the street. Watch for cars.”
“Are you ok?”
There aren’t words big enough to express how grateful I was for a ride home, the kindness of a stranger’s helping hand guiding me to the front door. (If not words, a double batch of chocolate chip cookies will be in order)
Whatever you’re up to this long Labor Day weekend, I hope it finds you out and about enjoying the last of these summer days
Let me tell you about something that happens a lot, and it’s the best thing ever
A month or so ago, a neighbor asked if I’d ever tried a tomato pie. Nope, not the Italian-American tomato pie: thick, bready pizza dough slathered with sauce and broiled with Romano cheese on top, before being served in squares. Instead, one closer to something you’d find in the south. Baked in a pie shell.
To which I responded that this was the first time I’d heard of such a thing.
— — —
Sure enough, tomato pie is definitely a thing.
Everyone from Paula Dean to Elsie at Simply Recipes has their signature version. As do my tried and true cooking magazines like Saveur and Bon Appetit. Not to mention the classics, such as James Beard’s nearly 20-year-old version. It includes summer corn, mayo, and crust with a biscuit-like dough
Then there’s the spectrum they come in. There are tomato pies that think of themselves as double-crusted apple pies: savory, spiced, and very very wet
Then there are those that should probably be called Cheese Pies. And truly, is there anything wrong with this?
There’s the part tomato pie, part quiche, going heavy on the ricotta version. Similar to the one featured here. What better way for your end of summer tomatoes to shine, bound in creamy eggs and herbed cheese
This; this one is so good
There’s no way to describe the surprise I felt when I lured my husband to dinner, and we approached the ricotta and egg-filled concoction; knowing it would be good. But not really how good. We proceeded to finish almost half of it(!) There was barely the willpower to talk myself out of thirds.
Thirds(!) Who am I?
So if you’re looking for some culinary inspiration this weekend, head the nearest marked, grab yourself some cherry tomatoes, ricotta and herbs. Then breathe a sigh of relief that you already have milk and eggs on hand (you do? yes?), and go home to make this for dinner.
If you’re lucky, you’ll have a slice leftover for breakfast. If your friends are lucky, you’ll share with them. But I wouldn’t bank on it. They can make their own.
~ Pie crust adapted from 101Cookbooks and the filling from Saveur
End of Summer Tomato Pie with Parmesan Crust
- Parmesan Crust
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- ½ cup unsalted butter, well chilled + cut into ¼-inch cubes
- 4 oz chunk of good Parmesan microplane-grated (you should end up with about 2 cups loosely packed grated cheese. Save any leftover grated cheese for sprinkling on the crusts when they come out of the oven.
- 2 Tbsp ice cold water
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, skin removed and cloves smashed
- 1 Tbsp fresh thyme
- about 2 pints cherry tomatoes
- 4 large eggs
- ½ cup whole milk (any nut milk will work great too)
- fine grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup ricotta cheese, heaping
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
- Make the Parmesan Crust
- Place both flours, butter, and Parmesan in a food processor and pulse quickly about 25 times. (You're looking for a sandy textured blend with pea-sized pieces of butter)
- Add the ice water and pulse again a few more times (the dough should stick together when you pinch it between two fingers)
- Transfer the dough to the tart pan.
- Working quickly, distribute the dough by pressing across the bottom, towards the sides, and up to form a rim.
- Place in the refrigerator and chill for 15 minutes
- Bake the Parmesan Crust
- Pull the crust out of the refrigerator and poke each a few times with the tongs of a fork.
- Cover the tart with a square of aluminum foil and fill generously with pie weights (or dried beans)
- Place it onto a baking sheet and slide the tart onto the middle rack in the oven.
- Bake for 15 minutes before pulling the shell out of the oven.
- Very gently, peel back and remove the tinfoil containing the pie weights.
- Place the uncovered crust back into the oven, weight free, and allow to cook for another 10 minutes, or until it is a deep golden brown in color.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle with a little shredded Parmesan (this will act as another barrier to the tomato filling)
- Let cool to room temperature before filling
- in a skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil.
- Add the sliced onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened and browned about 5 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to low, add the smashed garlic, and half of the fresh thyme.
- Cook on low, stirring just a few times, for 5-7 minutes, until the garlic is just softened.
- Remove from heat.
- Slice half of the cherry tomatoes in half. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl whisk together eggs, milk, remaining thyme, and a good pinch of sea salt and a grind or two of black pepper.
- In a small bowl, stir together ricotta cheese, parsley, and another good pinch of sea salt and a grind of pepper
- Finish and Bake the Tomato Pie
- In the pre-baked crust, layer the onions and garlic across the bottom.
- Add all of the tomatoes, both sliced and whole
- Nestle ricotta in four or five dollops across the tart.
- Place the tart pan on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Carefully pour the egg mixture atop the tomatoes and ricotta and place in the oven.
- Bake until egg mixture is firm and not wet, about 40 minutes.
- Remove and allow to cool to warm or room temperature.
- Serve room temperature or chilled.
Just used my gorgeous sungolds we’ve been storing up for harvest, along with the lemon thyme I grow beneath them. The flavors were superb. Two thumbs up from my hubby! x
Is there any short cut for those of us who are “dough challenged”? Would it work if I used canned biscuits or refrigerated pie crusts? Either way, I’m going to give it a try for our neighborhood Labor Day get-together and I’m sure it will be a hit!
If you ever have a chance, The August/September 2009 edition of Cook’s Country magazine (pg 22) features a tomato pies that is very similar.
They suggest first draining the tomatoes by spreading them on a paper towel lined baking sheet. Then sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and let them drain for 30 minutes. After that, press them with additional paper towels until very dry. I followed these instructions and the pie came out perfectly without leaving any juice behind that would make the pie soggy. (Even the next day, no sogginess in sight!)
Hope this helps. The pie was yummy. It had wonderful flavor with our garden fresh tomatoes.
Tomato pie is one of our favorite dinners – even my meat loving husband would nod in agreement! This summer I’ve been making a slightly different version than yours. In mine, I start with the crust and garlic. Then alternate layers of mozzarella, beefsteak, and cherry/grape tomatoes. I’ve solved any sogginess issues by adding a layer of breadcrumbs in between each layer of tomatoes. (My grandma taught me that!) xx
I had two friends over for lunch yesterday and this was truly just perfect. I accompanied it with a shaved fennel and zucchini salad. I was a little nervous because I learned that neither friend was crazy about ricotta, though they both loved the tomato pie and asked for the recipe. Thank you for another great recipe, Ali!
My husband and I live in the deep South (Augusta, Ga.) and I made the best tomato pie last week. The recipe I used was simple, with tomatoes, mayo, sharp cheddar and a double crust (plus salt, pepper and fresh basil). It was a truly wondrous thing. So divine! This is definitely something we make a lot down here, wheneve we have an abundance of fresh, ripe tomatoes.
Love your blog, Ali. Thanks (as always) for the culinary inspiration!
Thank you so much for posting this! We live in New England, and one of the things I look forward to most during the summer month are tomatoes. And summer tomatoes mean summer pie! Although there are so many recipes out there to choose from, I tend to revert back to the simplest versions, which are ultimately a fusion of those recipes. From now on I’ll include yours as well.
Enjoy these last few week of summer goodness 🙂
Ouch, I can’t imagine how must your bike fall must have hurt. I’m glad you are ok! I cycle quite a lot but to be honest I have never fallen. I did have my fair and share of “almost” crashes though, and I’ll never forget the time I almost flew over a car…. I was coming downhill, very fast on a busy road, on the bike lane, when something caught my attention. I turned my head for a fraction of a second and the next thing I saw was a car pulling out from a parking space, right in front of me. I hit the breaks but the bike kept going while my front wheel turned 90 degrees and slid towards the car. My adrenaline levels went up and I prepared for the impact, swearing at myself for not wearing a helmet. It all felt like it was going on in slow motion, even if the entire scene was probably seconds long. My bike stopped millimetres from the back of the car…. I’ve never left home without my helmet since then.
I love tomato pie, its velvety texture seems to melt in your mouth. Most of all, nothing says summer like red, ripe tomatoes fresh from the garden.
This recipe looks so, so, so delicious! I love to make salty pies, lately my favorite is with cherry tomatoes, tuna, olives and mozzarella.
I’ll definitely try this one, it really looks simple and yummy.
Ohh, that fall must’ve hurt so much Ali, I hope you’re okay? This summer pie looks super delicious, it’s spring here at the moment; so I will save this recipe for later, thanks for sharing! 🙂
This has been a favorite at our house for years and years. It’s even easier (no crust!) and makes me excited for the first harvest from our garden.
Hey, beautiful!!! I am sure you fell with grace… I am sure of it. I am so sorry to hear about the accident though. That REALLY sucks. I hope you get some down time this evening and a nice epsom salt bath. You definitely need it. Giving you some very big hugs and I am so glad that the college guys were able to help you out!
I’ve never tried a tomato pie, but I hope someday I will because this looks so yummy. Could definitely see myself making this and eating it outside on my patio on a summer night! Wishing you a speedy recovery from your fall 🙂
Look yo yummy . I like the cheese combine with cherry tomatoes . It’s must be crispy ant the bottom and creamy inside .
Can’t wait to show this recipe to my wife
I’ve been making tomato pie using homemade pesto and fresh mozzarella ….. Delish!!!!
My goal every summer is to try as many new to me tomato pie and tart recipes as I possibly can. In between, I make a couple of our favorites from the past as well. This one has found its way to the top of the list and we’ll be trying it soon. Thanks Ali, if it’s half as good as your scalloped tomatoes, it’ll be amazing!
I have tasted tomato pie once but never tried to make it. But this looks quite different from the one I’ve tasted. It looks so great with cheese. (crispy with cheesy feel). Thanks for the recipe.
This weekends it’s been little bit of blogging, little bit of work and meeting with friends. That pie would actually be a great idea to make when friends ar coming over.
This looks absolutely awesome. I made Simply Recipe’s version on Sunday and we ate it all.
It was interesting, because she included instructions for cutting the tomatoes in half and squeezing out all of the juice (seeds included). After that, she tell you to squeeze out even more liquid in paper towels. At that point, I was super nervous about it turning out too dry (is that even possible with tomatoes?) but I report – even after doing both of these steps, the pie ended a tiny bit on the wet side. Anyway, I loved the simply recipes version, which I made with a traditional pie crust, but now I can’t wait to try this one with the parmesan flavored crust. Yum!
I think we’ve all taken a fall from a bike. I can still remember one – damn that was bloody painful – but it’s good to see you’re alright! With all the doom and gloom out there, at least there are people who were there to help you out when you needed it.
Here’s a trick for tomato pie that my mom taught me. First, slice the tomatoes (I never peel them) and give them a spin in your salad spinner. Do it in small batches. It will get rid of most of the seeds and gelatinous goo + it dries them off and the soggy crust problem is solved! No need worry about squeezing, salting, or draining them. Who knew?!
My love for tomato pie runs deep. Down here in Savannah, a local caterer (she’s a legend and is featured in the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil) makes her signature version with cheddar and Dijon mustard. I can’t wait to try this version! I bet the caramelized onions make it truly special. Thanks Ali!
Thanks so much for this recipe! I’ve made other versions of Tomato Pie, but most recipes call for sliced, large heirloom tomatoes. I am growing 25 different kinds of tomatoes this year in the garden, but right now, I am mostly harvesting Sun Gold cherry tomatoes (about a colander-full every day, if you can believe it). I’m constantly looking for ways to use them.
I made your Tomato Pie as soon as I saw the recipe, and it turned out beautifully. It looked so pretty, with the gold tomatoes and the little bright green flecks of herbs. I plan to make it again in two days for a lunch with girlfriends x
Oh it is very sad that you fell from bike. How are you now? With this fall you managed so well with blogging and presenting this new recipe of Tomato pie with parmesan crust and herbs. I loved the cherry tomatoes garnished on top.
Its so good to know that you can be constantly surprised by the kindness of strangers. I’m sorry to hear that you had a nasty fall from your bicycle . You are very lucky that you had people that were prepared to come to your aid straight away and even give you a lift home. It makes me happy to think that there is lots of good left in the world and people are mostly kind and helpful. BTY that tomato pie dish is fab so i’m gonna try it this week as a last Horay to the fast fading Irish Summer. X
I hope you’re recovering from your bike fall and happy a stranger gave you a helping hand. I don’t think I’ve ever had a tomato pie before but it gives me that quiche kind of vibes which I really love a good quiche. I’d love to make this with a wonderful arugula salad on the size. Btw you just have the most mouth watering food photography ever!
I hope you’re recovering from your bike fall and happy a stranger gave you a helping hand. I don’t think I’ve ever had a tomato pie before but it gives me that quiche kind of vibes which I really love a good quiche. I’d love to make this with a wonderful arugula salad on the size. Btw you just have the most mouth watering food photography ever!!!
Just beautiful, Ali. Those dark cherry tomatoes are so sultry and captivating. I used to grow a similar strain back when I had a house with a space for a garden. I think I need to re-investigate that possibility. Thanks for not being shy with the cheese! ps: I hope you’re feeling better after your fall
One of my favorite taste combinations…tomato and cheese! Your photos are amazing and the result? I am so hungry now!!! Thank you for the recipe 🙂
Even after a relatively short time as a follower of your blog (maybe a year or two?) I’ve discovered when you say a recipe is not to be missed, it’s absolutely true! I doubled the recipe and made two, one for me, and one for my neighbor whose husband just had surgery. Everyone who tried it LOVED it, and I’m set to make two more today! Thanks Ali, you’re such a gem. xx
This little beauty looks like a quiche, do you guys have quiche in the USA? I am so sorry to hear about your fall lovely, I do hope you are feeling less sore today, if not better with this tasty Parmesan crust.
I am a huge pie lover! When it comes to cakes and pies, I become unstoppable. And this one definitely looks delicious! I hope you feel better really soon.
I made this for our college football kickoff party this weekend. The pie was DELIGHTFUL, I used slightly hard (not very unripe, but not extremely ripe) tomatoes and it helped avoid a soggy crust. Needless to say, the drama of the games overshadowed the pie, but hey, what’s a girl to do?
Mmm sounds yummy and your pictures look mouth watering. Tomato and Parmesan – two of my favourite things. Anything with cheese on is a winner. My nan has just grown loads of tomatoes and was woundering what to do with them so going to suggest we make this. Your instructions flow nicely so should be able to easily follow without burning house down. Il let you know how get on ☺
I’ve been making my grandma’s tomato pie recipe for years, and we all love it, love it, love it!
One of her secrets? She always added a layer of cheese along the bottom of the crust before adding the tomatoes. It’s still juicy, but at least the crust doesn’t end up soggy.
Once I’ve cut into the pie, of course, juice from the tomatoes runs everywhere, but it’s yummy to soak it up up with pieces of crust while you’re eating it.
Ohh I hope you get well really soon! When we fall one might not fell the pain at first but the next day you discover bruises everywhere.
Lucky that you have that cherry tomatoes pie to comfort you! Love the colors!
I hope that you recover in time from your bike accident and feel better soon. Thankful that you got some help, I believe that we always get kindness from the people we least expect. I really love the sound of this tomato dish and I really love the sound of the parmesan crust x
I love (*love*) tomato pie. It’s cheap and easy and is heavenly! I switch up cheeses too — maybe a little bleu? Or Gruyere? Yes, ma’am! I have one friend who loves hers with bacon sprinkled on top. Love this recipe! And I hope you feeling better after your fall!!
I think I need to go for grocery shopping to get Cherry tomatoes, Ricotta, and Herbs to make this for my friends who are coming for dinner tonight. Love it!
I always love all your recipes! They are all easy and so beautiful you almost don’t want to eat them! I said almost!! haha!! This is very easy and I have some cherry tomatoes from the garden that need to be eaten ASAP, so now I can use them!
First, I am glad that there was some kind hearted soul who helped you when you fell from your bike. Makes you think that there is still a lot of good left in this world. Second, I like this tomato pie recipe. Haven’t had one in my entire life and I am sure this would be so good. Just reading through the ingredient list is enough to convince me it will be another family favorite.
The tomato pie looks very healthy AND yummy. Especially because the photos are so wonderful and fresh.
I’m always happy when someone helps me and I love to help too. But once, an man hit me in a bus (maybe he was on drugs, i don’t know,) and nobody helped me or asked how I felt. I was very sad..
I’ve not heard of tomato pie before, it looks really tasty though!
Have you recovered from your fall now? Your weekend plan of doing nothing sounds amazing I’m going to try do the same this weekend.
I’ve come off my bike enough times to feel good pain, hope you’re doing better now though! It’s so lovely that someone actually came to help, there are still good people in the world ?
Sorry to hear about your spill, but glad you ended up okay and had someone to help…even if you didn’t have anyone to lend a helping hand, all would have been better after a meal like that!
I never heard of tomato pie either but this looks so delicious. I’m a big fan of savory pies so I would love to try this recipie out.