This summer has been a strange one. Strange in that it has been SO. HOT. And DRY. Although Minnesota summers can definitely get hot and humid, this one has topped the charts. We planted our usual gardens this year and although I had believed think that the heat is good for tomatoes, this year I am not so sure. This year it seems our garden harvest has gone from summer squash explosion directly to winter squash explosion, fast-forward style. What are we missing from this equation? Tomato explosion! We do have a large cherry tomato plant that is taller than I am and cock-full of tomatoes, but they are taking their sweet time turning red.
I actually resorted to buying tomatoes at the farmer's market this week because I couldn't get visions of tomato pie, enchilada sauce, bruschetta and oven-roasted tomatoes out of my head. Last night I made my mother's delicious tomato pie. All the squash have been relegated to the refrigerator and the counter. Our current stock includes 3 acorn squash, 6 large patty pan, 3 zucchini, 3 large summer squash and 3 large butternut squash. I do enjoy squash and have many good recipes, but...help!
A real summer treat. So easy, I'd say you could enlist the help of a young child.
1 pie crust (prepared, like refrigerated Pillsbury pie crusts, or make your own)
approx. 3 large tomatoes, sliced
1 C shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 C mayonnaise
1/3 C chopped fresh basil
Salt + Pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
- Roll the crust onto a pie plate and prick with a fork. Par-bake the crust for 6 minutes.
- While you are waiting, stir together the cheese, mayonnaise, and basil in a medium-sized bowl.
- Remove crust from the oven and layer tomatoes on top. Remember the tomatoes will shrink down a bit in cooking, so don't be shy about piling them in. I like to cut some of the smaller slices to fit in the gaps.
- Season the tomatoes with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning to taste.
- Dollop the mayo/cheese mixture on top of the tomatoes. Spread evenly over the tomatoes.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the juice from the tomatoes is bubbling and the top is turning golden brown.
- Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before cutting into 6 slices. (If you're impatient and cut into it right away, the slices won't hold together very well and you may end up with a sloppy mess.)
Makes: 6 slices
Best served right away, but will still be good for a couple of days if kept covered in the fridge.