I have a love-hate relationship with tomatoes. I love a beautiful tomato, ripened on the vine. I love to grow it, to look at it, to hold it, even to smell it. I love all of the beautiful colors and shapes of tomatoes, especially the lovely heirlooms with fanciful names like Radiator Charlie's Mortgage Lifter, Kellogg's Breakfast, or Aunt Ruby's German Green. But that's where the love affair takes a turn.
There are those who would take a warm, ripe tomato and take a bite out of it, the juice running down their chins. Here's where I have to make my true confession: I am not one of those. I am not a raw tomato eater. Okay, I'll tolerate them in salsa, or on a sandwich, or sometimes even in a salad, but I really do not
I saw this tomato pie on the cover of the latest Food Network magazine, and I knew right away that I had to make it. Beautiful (cooked) heirloom tomatoes of all colors and sizes adorn the top of this cheesy pie baked to perfection. It's full of caramelized onions nestled in a crust crunchy with cornmeal and shredded cheese, and it's a beautiful way to savor the quintessential summer fruit. Paired with a salad, a slice of it makes a lovely dinner, and I hope you have a chance to try it while tomatoes are at their very best!
You can find Food Network's recipe for Heirloom Tomato Pie here. I followed the recipe as it was written, except I substituted globe basil for thyme and cut back on the salt in both the crust and the filling. I also spread about a Tablespoonful of Dijon mustard over the bottom of the baked pie shell before I added the fillings. The pie shell was a bit time consuming, so if you're in a pinch for time, try a regular one. If you can't find the Manchego cheese (I had to make a trip to Wegman's for it!) I suggest using Parmesan, Asiago or Romano. If you don't have heirloom tomatoes, any beautiful vine ripened tomatoes will do. Really, how can you go wrong with baked tomatoes and melty cheese?