Combine fresh tomatoes with basil and mozzarella and you have a Caprese salad. Combine the tomatoes with bacon and lettuce and you have a BLT. Combine some of these flavors with tomatoes in a crust, and you have this wonderful pie, which is perfect served at picnics and spring gatherings, summer barbecues, and even at tailgate, parties in the fall. Use the best tomatoes you can find: If you slice, salt, and let the tomatoes drain ahead of time, they lose some of the moisture that might make the pie soggy. And they hold on to that great tomato taste.
- 3 medium-size tomatoes, peeled and cut into 15 to 16 slices total
- Kosher salt
- 1 deep-dish pie crust (9 inches), thawed if frozen
- ½ loosely packed cup chopped fresh basil
- ½ cup chopped scallions, green parts only
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup (2 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- Dash of cayenne pepper
- ½ cup crumbled cooked bacon (optional)
Cool: 20 Minutes
1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F.
2. Place the tomato slices on a baking rack placed in a sink or over a sheet pan, Lightly salt the tomato slices and let them sit until they give up some of their juice, about 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, prick the bottom and side of the pie crust with a fork a few times (see Note). Bake the crust until it just begins to brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Let the crust cool for about 15 minutes. Leave the oven on.
4. Pat the tomato slices dry with paper towels. When the crust has cooled, arrange half of the tomato slices in the bottom. Scatter ¼ cup each of the basil and scallions over them. Add the rest of the tomato slices and top these with the remaining ¼ cup each of basil and scallions.
5. Combine the mozzarella and Cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, cayenne, and bacon, if desired, in a small bowl. Spoon the cheese mixture over the tomatoes and, using a knife, spread it out as evenly as you can.
6. Bake the tomato pie until browned, 30 to 35 minutes. Then, carefully arrange a loose tent of aluminum foil over the top of the pie to shield the crust from over browning. Continue to bake the pie until the cheese has browned and the filling has firmed up, about 15 minutes longer. Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool at least 20 minutes before slicing and serving.
Nutritional information is based on 8 servings, includes 1/8 teaspoon of added salt per serving, but does not include optional bacon.