TAKE PERFECTLY RIPE TOMATOES, place them on a bed of store-bought biscuits, top them with basil, mayonnaise and cheddar cheese, bake the works until puffed and golden, and what do you get? Why, only the most delicious thing on earth — Classic Tomato Pie. You can make this company-worthy fare in no time at all:
Note: I’ve written about Classic Tomato Pie before, first in 2010 and then in 2011. So why mention it again? Well, because if you are new to A Garden for the House, you might not know this recipe exists. And that would make me cry.
Note: I cry very easily.
Classic Tomato Pie
Ingredients for one 9-inch pie
10 store-bought biscuits (from a 7.5 oz package)*
2 large, perfectly ripe tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
Kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Fresh basil leaves (as many as you like), sliced into thin strips
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup extra-sharp cheddar cheese
* If you prefer, you can make your own biscuit dough.
Tip: For a thin crust, use biscuits from a 7.5-ounce package. For a thicker crust, use biscuits labeled “jumbo-size” or “grands.”
Toss the biscuits into a lightly-greased 9-inch pie plate…
And press them against the bottom and sides of the plate.
And by the way, I hope you will use only perfectly ripe, in season tomatoes for this pie. More often than not, tomatoes obtained from the supermarket in winter have traveled 3,000 miles in a refrigerated truck.
Long-distance tomatoes are tasteless tomatoes.
Lay the tomato slices on the biscuit crust, as above. Then give them a generous sprinkling of kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper.
Next, grab a handful of fragrant basil leaves, and stack them together as pictured above.
Tightly roll the leaves from tip-end to stem-end, as if you were rolling a cigar.
Then slice the cigar cross-wise into thin strips. This is called a “Basil Chiffonade.”
My chiffonade is an utter disgrace. The strips are too wide. That’s what happens when you attempt to roll a basil-cigar and take photos of yourself at the same time.
Your chiffonade will be far superior to mine.
Sprinkle the basil over the tomatoes.
Blend mayonnaise with extra-sharp cheddar cheese.
This isn’t a diet-dish. But it’s a delicious dish. If you wish to substitute low-fat yogurt for the mayo, just as my friend Ed did when making this pie for his friends on Fire Island, the decision is entirely yours.
I spoke with Ed last night, and he told me my tomato pie is “the talk of Fire Island.”
I can live with that.
Drop big dollops of the cheese mixture over the pie. Then spread it around with a spoon.
For me, the 30-minute wait always feels like an eternity. I vant to eat ziss pie!
A biscuit crust…summer-fresh tomatoes…fragrant basil, and a mayo-and-cheese topping…this pie is totally awesome, dude.
And although Tomato Pie is a cinch to prepare, it is elegant enough for a summertime dinner party. A dinner party where goblets of Pinot Noir are freely poured.
Here’s the printable:
Do me proud and make this pie, okay?