Here’s one of the best loved recipes on the site—tomato pie! Perfect at the peak of summer tomato season. First posted Aug 2009. ~Elise
One of the great things about going on vacation is I get to hang out with my friends, and sometimes meet their friends, who sometimes have OMG-this-is-so-GOOD dishes that they bring over. This tomato pie recipe is a result of one of these encounters.
The first time I heard of it (“tomato pie”, hmm, oooookaaaay) my brain suffered a little cognitive dissonance (never heard those two words, tomato and pie, joined at the hip like that before). Seconds after taking a bite however, I was begging for the recipe.
It’s a savory pie, not sweet, filled with fresh garden tomatoes, sprinkled with basil, and held together with a mixture of mayonnaise and shredded cheese. The egg in the mayo acts as a binder to help hold the filling in place.
Many thanks to Diane Connolly (aka Lady Di) who graciously wrote it out on some post-it notes for me at the dinner table. It is the first thing I cooked when I got back home. Think pizza meets cheesy bread and they make-out in a pie crust.
The recipe lends itself to estimates. Handfuls of this, handfuls of that. I measured, but you could eyeball it and it would still work out. Feel free to change the cheeses around, play with the spices. I made a homemade pie crust, but for this recipe a good quality prepared crust would work fine.
If you want to take this recipe up a notch, you can caramelize the onions while prepping the other ingredients. If you do that, double the amount of onion.
- 1 9-inch pie shell (see pie crust recipe for homemade version)
- 1/2 yellow or red onion, chopped
- 3-4 tomatoes, cut in half horizontally, squeezed to remove excess juice, roughly chopped, to yield approximately 3 cups chopped tomatoes
- 1/4 cup sliced basil (about 8 leaves)*
- 2 cups grated cheese (combination of sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack, or Gruyere or Mozarella)
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon (or more to taste) of Frank's Hot Sauce (or Tabasco)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
*To slice basil, chiffonade them by stacking the leaves on top of each other, roll them up like a cigar, starting at one end slice the "cigar" crosswise in thin slices.
1 Preheat your oven to 350°F. Pre-bake the pie shell in the oven for about 8 to 10 minutes (a little longer for a frozen pie shell), until lightly browned.
If you are using a homemade crust, freeze the crust first, then press a sheet of aluminum foil into the crust to keep the sides of the pie crust from falling down as it cooks. Pre-bake it for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for 10 more minutes.
2 Lightly salt the chopped tomatoes and set them in a colander over a bowl to drain while you are pre-baking the crust. Squeeze as much moisture as you can out of the chopped tomatoes, using either paper towels, a clean dish towel, or a potato ricer.
3 Sprinkle a layer of chopped onion over the bottom of your pre-baked pie crust shell. Spread the drained chopped tomatoes over the onions. Sprinkle the sliced basil over the tomatoes.
4 In a medium bowl, mix together the grated cheese, mayonnaise, Tabasco, a sprinkling of salt and freshly ground black pepper. The mixture should be the consistency of a gooey snow ball. Spread the cheese mixture over the tomatoes.
5 Place in oven and bake until browned and bubbly, anywhere from 25 to 45 minutes.