Tomato and Cheese pies have been something on my bucket list to prepare for quite some time. I had the pleasure of making this vegetarian delight for good friends and fellow fooderati at the Sanibel Community House when I was asked to speak about tomatoes at our monthly potluck dinner lecture series a few months ago. The Sanibel Community House is in the process of raising funds for a major renovation which will include a large professional kitchen to accommodate food crafting and cooking classes for islanders, vacationers and everyone interested in the Sanibel and Captiva Island community. For more information, check out their efforts on www.sanibelcommunityhouse.net.
This pie is so simple to prepare that I tried making several versions the next day for my bakery on Sanibel Island, Geppetto’s Beach Foodies. It is a vegetarian favorite and a new staple on our menu. Even more exciting is that I shared the recipe with a close friend from New York. Fedela Kessler tried the recipe and sent me a pic of her craft (see below). Thanks Fedela for trying it out and sending your feedback. I miss our diner chats.
Difficulty 1 FORK
- In a hurry and you have no time to make your own pie crust? Try Pillsbury Pet Ritz brand frozen pie crust shells. The Pet Ritz crust is flaky, buttery and withstands sweet fruit or savory tomato liquids when the pie is cut.
- 6 medium beefsteak tomatoes. Note: I mixed in colorful heirloom tomatoes for interest.
- Sea Salt and Pepper
- Italian Seasonings
- Fresh Basil finely chopped
- ½ cup finely chopped scallions
- 2 cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- 1 cup Hellmann’s Mayonnaise
- Colorful Yellow and Red Grape Tomatoes for Garnish
- PREP WORK:
- Preheat Oven to 375.
- Poke holes with fork tines – 10 to 12 times.
- Bake frozen pie crust shells for 8 minutes. Remove and Cool.
- Peel and slice tomatoes to 1/8 inch thickness
- In a bowl, combine 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella with 1 cup mayonnaise.
- ASSEMBLE THE PIE:
- Layer the tomatoes in the pie shell.
- Layer the ½ cup scallions.
- Season with Salt and Pepper, Italian Seasonings and fresh chopped basil
- Sprinkle with ½ cup shredded mozzarella
- Spread the cheese/mayo mixture on top.
- Garnish with grape tomatoes, remaining chopped basil, salt , pepper, Italian seasonings.
BAKE the pie for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned.
Cool and Serve.
- Substitute Cheddar or Monterey Jack shredded cheese or make a pie with a combination of cheeses.
- Substitute ½ of the amount of mayo with plain yogurt.
- The sky is the limit with a variety of different garnishes ie: pine nuts, dried fruits, spinach & artichoke
- Turn this into a one meal pie. Add a layer of cooked and sliced sausage or a healthier alternative of cooked ground turkey meat or fish.
- For a firmer bottom crust, layer some cheese slices on the bottom of the pie. Then add the tomato, onions, meat if desired.