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Archive for May 24th, 2011

Pesto

My poor family is slowly turning a pale shade of green…not from seasickness but rather from an abundance of pesto. Not really, don’t worry. They are all just fine. But we are eating tons of the green goodness!

A couple of weeks ago I had thawed some chicken breasts. We were just going to have grilled chicken and some veggies. Blah. About 30 minutes before dinner I decided to get creative. I popped open the pesto jar in the fridge and spread it on the chicken. We grilled it and made the yummiest sandwiches. I used herbs from the garden to make some herb mayo which was super easy! And then threw on some sun-dried tomatoes and mozzarella cheese onto slices of crusty bread. The only thing I would have changed was that I didn’t toast the bread. It may have been yummier with toasted bread.

Telling you about the above thrown together sandwich is really just a distraction before telling you what this post is really about. Tomato Basil Pie. It is our most favorite summer recipe. Seriously, our favorite. It makes a great appetizer or meal. For a meal I normally serve it with a nice green salad.

I got the recipe from my dear friend Annie in Kentucky. She got it from her friend Mary (who I believe got it from Southern Living way back when) but in my cookbook it is now “Annie’s Tomato Pie”. I think of her every time I make it!! I made the first pie of the season last week for a girls lunch. It was a hit. It was an even bigger hit for Seth….I made a double batch so he could have it for dinner. It’s one of those things that he turned his nose up at when I first introduced him but he now requests it.

Last week I tried to take pictures while making the pie….somehow I got to the end and never took a picture of the finished product. It may have something to do with the fact that I was doing it with Jackson and Owen and I had a group showing up for lunch.

you salt the tomatoes after slicing to get out some of the extra water

you can make your own crust but I cheat and buy one…this time I accidentally bought whole wheat. It was actually really good!  You poke the crust with a fork and brush it with dijon mustard.

Pop it into the oven for 8-10 mins.

While it is in the oven mix the cheese topping mixture.

When it comes out of the oven dump the first cup of  cheese on the hot crust. Then top with tomato slices and cheese, pesto mixture.

Pop it in the oven and bake for 20-25 mins or until bubbly. This is where I should have a picture of a beautiful golden brown pie that makes you salivate and buy a bag of pesto. You will just have to take my word for it.

Another variation is using a mini cupcake pan and cutting the crust to fit. It makes a great bite-size appetizer. Last year I made the mini version to serve as appetizers for the adults at Jackson’s birthday party. I used cherry tomatoes instead of big tomato slices and they worked out well! This isn’t a great picture but you get the idea!

And here ya go…

“Annie’s Tomato Pie”

originally from Southern Living (although I can’t find it anywhere)

1 15 oz pie crust

1-2 large tomatoes

2 cups shredded mozarella

1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

1/2 cup mayo (I didn’t say this is healthy)

2 Tablespoons pesto       (On a side note, the beauty of ready-made pesto or even using homemade in this recipe is that you aren’t   having to chop garlic and measure out spices. All of that work is done!)

1/4 teaspoon pepper

small amount of dijon mustard for brushing crust

Slice tomatoes and lay on paper towel. Lightly salt and allow to sit for a few mins so the water can absorb into the paper towel.  Put crust into pie pan. Poke with fork and brush with dijon mustard. Bake at 425 degrees for 8-10 mins. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with 1 cup of cheese. Let cool for 15 mins. Arrange tomatoes on top of the cheese. Mix together remaining ingredients: mayo, parm, mozarella, pesto, and pepper. Spread over top of tomatoes. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. And while it bakes and the smell begins to fill your home think of my red-headed sister/friend Annie in Kentucky! I always do!

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