Backyard Summer Tomato Pie

Chef and food stylist Bobbi Cappelli of North Cape May contributes this layered tomato-and-cheese pie, which turns the bounty of the season—fresh Jersey tomatoes and basil—into a luscious lunch or a dinner appetizer.

“In the late 90’s,” writes chef and food stylist Bobbi Cappelli of North Cape May, “I had the privilege of meeting and working with Paula Deen as her food stylist. She introduced me to the idea of baking with summer tomatoes.

I have been making this Backyard Summer Tomato Pie ever since. I have made the pie with heirlooms, plum tomatoes, and golden jubilees. In early fall it becomes The Big Green Tomato Pie and takes on a whole new personality.”

Backyard Summer Tomato Pie

Serves 4 to 6

1 9-inch prebaked pie shell
1 Tb. white cornmeal
½ medium sweet onion, sliced thin and sautéed
4-5 tomatoes (mixed varieties are beautiful), sliced
15 fresh basil leaves: chiffonade or torn by hand
4 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced thin or grated
1-¼ cups light mayonnaise
1 cup shredded Parmesan
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2-Sprinkle corn meal on bottom of crust.
3-Layer sautéed onions on bottom of crust.
4-Sprinkle shredded or chiffonaded basil leaves and
   mozzarella over the onions.
5-Place layer of sliced tomatoes over onions, basil and
   mozzarella.
6-Mix mayonnaise with the Parmesan and Monterey Jack.
7-Place one layer of cheese mix over the tomatoes. Continue
  to alternate layers of tomatoes with layers of cheese mix, e
  ending with last layer of cheese mixture.
8-Bake 35 to 45 minutes until cheese mixture is puffed and
   lightly golden brown.
9-Cool on wire rack 15 to 20 minutes.

BON APPETIT…

Chef’s Note: Season the layers with salt and pepper as desired. You can omit the onions if you choose. Mushrooms make another nice addition to the pie, but please enjoy the tomato pie as is first.

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