Tomato Pie is one of the simplest summer main dishes you can make, and with ripe, juicy tomatoes at their annual best, this is the time to get one on your table. You’ll need a baked piecrust, a generous array of thickly-sliced and lightly salted and drained tomatoes, and a few other items which you simply stack up spread out and assemble: saltine cracker crumbs, mayonnaise, cheddar cheese, and fresh herbs.
Here are tomatoes sprinkled lightly with salt and left to drain off a little of their juice. This keeps the pie from being soggy on the bottom crust. Don’t despair — lots of juice remains along with incredible flavor. If you’d rather not drain them like htis, simply skip this step.
- 1 deep-dish 9-inch piecrust, baked and cooled
- 1 ½ - 2 pounds ripe tomatoes
- About 2 teaspoons teaspoons salt, divided
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 loosely-packed cup fresh basil leaves
- 2 green onions, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons fruity and delicious olive oil
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- 1 ¼ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- ½ cup saltine cracker crumbs, or Ritz crackers or panko bread crumbs
- ¼ cup grated cheese, such as Asiago, Grueyre cheese, parmigiano reggiano cheese, or romano cheese
- 3 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
- Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Core the tomatoes, and slice them crosswise into ¼-inch thick slices. (You will have around 3 cups of sliced tomatoes). Halve each slice and arrange them on paper towels. Sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon of salt and set aside for 10 minutes or longer, to release a little of their juice. Set aside remaining salt with the pepper.
- Coarsely chop basil leaves, and then set aside with the green onions and the olive oil.
- Combine the mayonnaise with ¾ cup of the grated cheddar cheese in a medium bowl. Add about half the chopped basil and about ¼ of the chopped green onions. Stir to mix them evenly and well, and then set aside.
- Combine the saltine cracker crumbs with the remaining ¼ cup cheddar cheese, the Asiago cheese, and the Italian parsley. Stir to mix well and set aside.
- Make the pie. Carefully arrange a layer of tomato slices in the bottom of the piecrust, fitting them in nice and snug. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, and scatter on half the basil and green onion. Sprinkle on half the olive oil. Add another good layer of tomatoes, mounding them up a little in the center. Scatter on the remaining basil and green onions, Season with remaining olive oil, and with salt and pepper as well.
- Spread the mayonnaise-cheese goodness over the tomatoes, covering completely. Crown it with the saltine cracker-cheese-parsley mixture, covering the pie completely.
- Set on a baking sheet and place in the 375 degree F oven. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F, and cook 30 minutes. Check to make sure the pie is hot, bubbly, cheesey, fairly firm, and nicely browned on top.
- Transfer to a wire rack or a folded kitchen towel and cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Serves 6 to 8