I’d have to say that the tomato is my favorite food. I have very early memories of walking outside and grabbing a warm, dirt-speckled tomato off the vine in my Dad’s garden and biting into it before I could make it back to the kitchen. I remember once when I was about 10, I found a worm wriggling around in a pocket of tomato seeds. I freaked out: “DAAAAAD, THERE’S A WORM IN MY TOMATO.” To which he coolly replied, “you have to learn to share sometime.” Later that same year, I received one of those posters you see in silly Italian restaurants with different kinds of tomatoes on it; I loved it, and it moved with me for years until it essentially disintigrated off the wall.
Then in high school I used to walk by the co-op at least once a day and buy a huge, gnarly tomato (at a buck a piece, which I still find outlandish,) and eat it on the way to or from not going to class. I’ve always loved devouring a whole tomato – it was only recently that I started adding a pinch of salt as I bit my way through seeds and flesh; until then I enjoyed them au natural.
This being my first summer in Richmond, I was introduced to the Tomato Pie. As soon as I heard the term, I knew it was brilliant. How could two such magical words combine to create anything less than…um…magical? And it turns out I was waaay right. My own conception of the pie before seeing the recipe was more of a tomato tart tatin, which still sounds great, but this is better: pie crust, salty tomatoes, and a gooey, cheesy pillow of deliciousness just perfect for lodging little surprises — like, ohh, bacon, or green onions or olives and capers. Whatever Trevor.
For my first tomato pie, I stuck with an all veg pie, flavoring the cheesy mixture with green onions and a bit of basil. I served it (a full three quarters of it, to myself) with hashbrowns and some sliced cucumber. yumtimes.
1 recipe [KB’s pie crust]
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. mayonaise
1/2 c. parmesean cheese
1/2 c. cheddar cheese
1/4 c. scallions
1 T. basil
approx. 6 tomatoes, depending on size (enough to slice, salt, and cover the pie crust in a single layer) + some kosher salt
Roll out and bake off a pie shell according to [standard pie procedure].
Slice tomatoes roughly a quarter inch thick. Place them in a single layer on a clean kitchen towel (or paper towels if that’s better for you) and sprinkle with kosher salt. Allow to sit about 10 minutes. This allows the tomatoes to render some of the water that would otherwise make your tomato pie a shloopy mess.
Combine the first 6 ingredients. Place sliced tomatoes inside the baked off pie shell and cover with creamy goodness. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 350. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a baking rack for at least 10 minutes before slicing.
Consider eating this pie for breakfast.