Well, here it is again!!! The recipe is pretty much the same, but there are reasons to bring it back. First, this way, it keeps coming up. Secondly, it’s just so good, it’s tough to post it too often. Thirdly, Nika’s great looking tomatoes made me start jonesing for the last of this year’s tomatoes. You’ve got to see them; they’re gorgeous, as tomatoes go. In the time since I moved out of town to the country, and we found an old couple that grows great tomatoes, our tomato usage has gone up, but since tomato pie, it’s gone up even more!
I have one basic theory about tomatoes…
Local, ripe tomatoes are a gift from God. He’s basically saying, "Night’s will get a bit cooler… Grab the salt and enjoy My best for you!" Ok, He doesn’t tell me to grab the salt; I already know to do that.
On the other hand, hot-house tomatoes, grown out of season and sold all year, are of the Devil, and no one can convince me otherwise! I can almost see Satan personally breathing a bit of evil into each of those plants that look so diabolically similar to the heavenly tomatoes of summer.
With that in mind, you can see why I try to enjoy every last second of the local tomato season. I try to like good and hate evil whenever I can!
So for those that haven’t heard of or tried tomato pie, here it is again. Simple, easy and worthy of His best tomatoes!
Start by parboiling the tomatoes for 30 seconds, then submerging them into an ice bath to stop the cooking. This makes the tomatoes easy to peel,and cooling them off allows them to be held without burning (a good thing).
Once peeled, slice the tomatoes and let them drain. This is easily done by laying out a couple of layers of paper towels and lightly salting the slices. The salt will need to be rinsed a bit before putting the slices into the pie plate, though.
While the slices are draining a bit, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Layer the tomatoes about 4 slices deep in a pie pan, adding salt,pepper and sugar to taste (maybe 1 tablespoon of sugar, not much salt or pepper). Dried or fresh basil, oregano and tarragon can be used, though a bit less is used if using dried herbs. I like either way, but I kind of like doing that fancy chiffonade cut on basil… Makes me feel like I know what I’m doing! I use about twice as much basil as oregano and tarragon.
Once the tomato slices and seasoning are in the pan, mix 2 cups of grated cheddar cheese with 1 cup of mayonnaise. Not Miracle Whip, mayo, the real stuff. It’s kind of hard to stir at first, but then it kind of comes together, and mixing the two allows the cheese to spread over the tomato slices pretty well. Which, by happenstance, is the next step!
Once the cheese is covering everything, crush up some saltines and put on top of the cheese. For a regular pie plate, I use about half a sleeve of saltines. Don’t go fancy here, just use plain old saltines. I want to try this with homemade croutons, but I haven’t yet.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Serve with a slotted spoon, so that the water still left in the pie plate stays there.
This is the one thing I know of that everyone that’s tried it has liked, even people that have told me they don’t like tomatoes at all. No one has turned down seconds. Of course that could be because I’m bigger and taller than most of them, and they’re afraid of me!