Vegetarians and carnivores alike will love this delicious tomato pie. This recipe appears in the "Tomatoes… You Say Heirloom, I Say Old Timey" episode of A Chef's Life, featuring chef Vivian Howard.
Yield: Makes roughly one 12-inch pie or tart
- For the Filling
- 2 cups diced and drained fresh tomatoes
- 2 cups diced and roasted tomatoes
- 1 cup caramelized onions
- 1/2 cup picked basil
- For the Topping
- 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- 1/3 cup grated Fontina
- 1/2 cup mayo
- 1 pie crust
- For the diced and drained tomatoes
Seed and dice about 3 cups fresh, high-quality tomatoes. Toss them with a little kosher salt and sugar. Set over a colander while you prepare the remaining ingredients if possible. If not, drain for a minimum of an hour. You should be left with about 2 cups of tomato.
- For the roasted tomatoes
Seed and dice 4 cups fresh, high quality tomatoes. Toss them with olive oil (at C&F we use garlic oil), plenty of kosher salt, and several sprigs of thyme. Spread this mix out on a baking sheet and roast at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. You want the tomatoes to be dry and slightly caramelized, but not burned around the edges.
- For the Onions
Peel and slice (with the grain) 4 medium yellow onions. In a large sauté pan, heat 1/4 cup butter. Add the onions and season them with salt. Let the onions simmer and become juicy. Once the situation becomes a bit drier and much of the onion liquid has cooked out, turn down the heat, to its lowest setting and settle in for a long, slow caramelize. To get these onions where they need to be, it could take about 2 hours. You are looking for a medium brown, sweet caramelization.
- To Assemble the Filling
Combine the onions, fresh tomatoes, roasted tomatoes, basil, salt, pepper, and sugar to taste. Keep in mind, tomatoes take a lot of seasoning to really make them shine in applications like this.
- To Bake and Serve
Spread the filling over the bottom of a blind-baked crust. Flatten the topping between wax paper or use your good ol’ hands to create a 1/3 inch thick round of delicious, cheesy topping that spreads nearly to the edges of the pie. Bake at 375 degrees until the top is nicely browned...20-25 minutes. Serve at just over room temperature.
Tips/TechniquesAt C&F we make a tight aioli to fold into our cheeses, but you can substitute your favorite brand of mayo to great effect. As for the crust... I will add the crust recipe when I gather it from Kim, C&F’s pastry chef. For now, use your favorite crust recipe or even a frozen crust...and blind bake it!