Savory tomato pie, with roots in the south going back to the 1830s—beloved by those who know it, largely unfamiliar outside the region—contains little more than its eponymous fruit, a mixture of cheese, mayonnaise, and a few chopped herbs. Sweet heirloom tomatoes play beautifully off the slightly tangy mayonnaise.
Salt the tomatoes at least an hour ahead of time and blanket them with a thick layer of paper towels—you want to draw out as much moisture as possible (plus, this concentrates the tomato’s flavors). Bake the pie until the top is golden brown, and let it cool awhile once it’s out of the oven—it needs to set a bit before serving.
My interpretation includes the addition of blue cheese and a grain-free, gluten free crust made with cauliflower.
2 cups cauliflower, riced
1 cup Parmesan, shredded
4 heirloom tomatoes, sliced*
Fresh basil leafs, cut into ribbons
1 cup undyed cheddar cheese, shredded
6 green onions or two shallots, peeled and diced
6 garlic ramps, diced (or two cloves garlic, minced)
2 tablespoons blue cheese, crumbled
1/2 – 2/3 cup mayonnaise
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Combine the riced cauliflower, Parmesan and eggs in a bowl. Mix thoroughly with a fork. Press mixture into a greased pie plate, up the sides and evenly across the bottom. Bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned and firm to the touch.
Reduce oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine filling ingredients into a bowl. Mix completely and set aside.
Layer tomato slices and basil ribbons over the cauliflower crust. Top evenly with the cheese mixture. Return the pie to the oven and bake 20-30 minutes until the top is golden brown. Remove from oven and let set 10 minutes before slicing. Serve the tomato pie with a fresh green salad.
* I used heirloom cherry tomatoes (red, orange, yellow and green)
(I didn’t let the pie set long enough so it didn’t slice as nicely as it would have if I wasn’t so impatient to dig in!)
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