Friday's post had the desired effect on my friend Claire (Brennan) Dunn, who made the (relatively) short drive from Marcellus to Borodino and came home with heirloom tomatoes, basil and freshly dug potatoes from Schoolhouse Farms.
If you, too, have an abundance of homegrown tomatoes on hand, here's a couple things you can do:
1. Make a Fancy Heirloom Tomato Pie. The recipe is from a favorite cookbook, "Hollyhocks and Radishes: Mrs. Chard's Almanac,'' by Bonnie Stewart Mickelson. The book, received long ago as a gift from my friend, Maureen Nolan, is a compilation of memories and recipes from Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The original recipe calls for regular, garden-variety tomatoes, but I had so many heirlooms on hand I needed to do something with them, and fast!
2. Mix up some vinaigrette dressing, toss together a green salad and decorate it with wedges of heirloom tomatoes.
3. Or, do like Claire: Slice some heirloom tomatoes, sprinkle them with basil and eat alongside something hot off the grill.
Here is the recipe for the Fancy Tomato Pie. It serves six or eight, depending on how hungry you are and how big you make the slices.
You will need:
Pastry for 1 9-inch pie (Pillsbury works fine)
For the filling:
2 medium-size heirloom tomatoes, chopped, plus one medium-size tomato for garnish
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
Pinch of kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon thyme or tarragon or a handful of chopped basil
1 cup milk
1 cup shredded Jarlsberg cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Handful of oven-dried/roasted tomatoes (optional)
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Fit pastry into pie pan and bake for 7 minutes, or until light brown. Remove from oven; let crust cool some while preparing rest of pie. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
Melt butter over medium heat and saute onion until translucent. Add chopped tomatoes, pinch of salt and herb of choice. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove lid, mash tomatoes and onion with a potato masher and cook until moisture has evaporated. This could take 15 minutes or more. Let tomato mixture cool.
In a bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and salt and pepper to taste. Add tomato mixture and cheeses and blend. Pour into crust and bake in center of oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until filling is set. Cool for 15 minutes, then garnish top with sliced tomatoes. Slice and serve with a green salad and some nice bread.