Fresh tomatoes are one of the best foods of summer. Many recipes add tomatoes as side dish, but this one makes them the star! This was my first experience with tomato pie [which, apparently is an old Southern favorite], and it was absolutely delicious. The combination of tomato, pesto, and a little bit of cheese reminds me of pizza, and coupled with a unique rice crust [instead of a traditional pie shell], makes for a filling and tasty meal. Add a little bacon for some crunch and you have one savory pie… perfect for a luncheon buffet, a brunch, or a light dinner.
basically The Front Burner Blog‘s recipe, with a few tweaks
- A couple big tomatoes
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 2 tablespoons pesto + more for layering [I used this recipe]
- 1 tablespoon + 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated & separated
- 1/4 cup mozzarella
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup onion
- A big bunch fresh basil, mostly used to make the pesto [above] + some for layering
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 strips bacon
- cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use cooking spray to grease a 9″ pie pan. In a large bowl, mix cooked rice, pesto, 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, and egg to make crust. Once combined, press mixture into bottom and sides of the pie pan. Bake for 15 minutes, then cool for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, slice tomatoes into thin slices, and lay in between two paper towels to dry off some of the excess moisture so pie is not soggy. In a skillet, cook bacon until crispy; remove to paper towels to drain grease. Use grease in skillet to saute onions until soft. Then, mix 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, and mayonnaise in a small bowl and set aside. Once bacon is cool, crumble or chop into small pieces.
Once crust has cooled, begin assembling pie. First, layer all of the onions and half the tomatoes on top of the crust. Then add fresh basil, pesto [as much as you want–I used approximately 1/4-1/3 cup], the other half of the tomatoes, and bacon. Top pie with the cheese mixture, as well as extra pesto and some salt if desired. [I didn’t add salt.]
Bake for 20 minutes or until heated through.
The original recipe used 1 whole onion instead of 1/3 cup, Gruyere instead of mozzarella, and an additional tomato or two. I added the bacon for my husband. Our 9″ pan was almost overflowing, so I am glad I decreased those other quantities but feel free to adjust recipe to your pan size and tastes. 🙂
Do me a favor and take a trip to your local Farmer’s Market today to get the ingredients for this tasty dish! The tomatoes, basil, and the beautiful flowers [a gift from my husband] made this dish extra tasty and special. Yumalicious!