Tomato pie

I have been using Vivian Howard’s recipe for tomato pie this year.  BUT, I don’t make my own crust and I have modified it a little bit.  Thyme is too subtle a flavor and I can’t taste it with all the other stuff.  So, I leave it out.

Filling and topping:
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
1 large yellow onion, halved and cut into julienne with the grain
2 teaspoons salt, divided
3 ½ pounds tomatoes, cut into ½-inch dice, divided
1 teaspoon granulated sugar, divided
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon black pepper
⅓ cup picked basil leaves  (3 Tbsp dried)

½ cup mayonnaise
⅓ cup grated Fontina
⅓ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Blind-bake your crust for for 30 minutes.

In a medium saute pan or skillet, melt the butter and add the onions and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook the onions over medium-low heat till they are deeply caramelized. This will take about 40 minutes. If your onions get away from you and burn a little, add ¼ cup of water to the pan, scrape up the overbrowned bits, and keep going, In the end, you’ll have a scant ⅓ cup caramelized onions.

Toss half the tomatoes with ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon sugar. Set them over a colander and let them drain while you get everything else ready, at least 30 minutes.

Toss the remaining tomatoes with ½ teaspoon salt and the olive oil. Spread them out in a single layer on a sheet tray with as much room separating the individual pieces as possible. Slide the tray onto the middle rack of your oven and roast for 20 to 30 minutes. You’re looking for the tomatoes to dry out and brown slightly.

Once all the individual components are done, stir together the onions, the fresh tomatoes, the roasted tomatoes, the remaining salt and sugar, black pepper and basil. In a separate, smaller bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, Fontina, and Parm.

Spoon the filling into your blind-baked crust and crown it with mayo-and-cheese topping. Bake in the middle rack of your oven for 30 minutes. You can serve this warm or at room temperature. Both have their virtues.


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