Tomato Vidalia Onion Pie
On a trip to the Biltmore Estate near Asheville, North Carolina, I was introduced to a tasty dish using a few of my favorite summer flavors - tomatoes, basil and onion. This recipe for a hearty tomato pie is fairly rich, but it is definitely worth straying from your diet to try.
Because tomatoes are the prominent ingredient in this recipe I suggest that if you don't grow your own, take the time to purchase really fresh tomatoes with lots of flavor. I have the best luck finding good tomatoes at my local farmer's market. When that source fails, I try a store that carries local produce and go for those that have been vine ripened. They are a little pricier than the standard supermarket fare, but it is well worth it. I've found that heirloom tomato varieties offer the most flavor. Two of my favorites that would work well with this recipe are Brandywine and Roma.
When selecting tomatoes the best indicator of good flavor is fragrance. The stem should smell "green," like a plant. Other characteristics to look for are smooth skin, bright color and plumpness.
Store tomatoes in a cool area that is out of direct light. Don't keep them in the refrigerator because cold temperatures reduce flavor and cause the flesh to become pulpy.
When I prepared this dish I used a pre-made piecrust, but if you want to try it with the real deal you can use the piecrust recipe that I provided with the double blackberry cobbler.
And if your diet won't allow bacon it can be omitted or you might want to use turkey bacon instead.
Begin by pressing the pie crust into a 9-inch pie pan and browning it in a pre-heated 350-degree F oven for about 8 minutes.
Remove the crust from the oven and layer the sliced tomatoes on top of the browned crust. Now toss the basil and diced onions over the tomatoes.
In a separate bowl, combine cheddar, mozzarella, mayonnaise and bacon.
Now spread the cheese mixture evenly over the tomatoes, basil and onions.
Bake the pie at 350 degrees F, uncovered, until gold brown. This will take about 15-20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow it to cool before serving.
Time to prepare: 45 minutes.