Recipe: Summer Tomato-Basil Pie
Enjoying tomatoes simply sliced and served with a bit of salt and pepper is surely the finest way to savor their hot-off-the-vine flavor. Simple pleasures, however, will soon be replaced with needs for other recipes - as one tomato quickly morphs into a dozen. This recipe combines red, green and heirloom tomatoes with sweet basil, rich cheeses and the crunch of toasted pine nuts, all bundled into a savory pie.
Yield: 6 slices
Active Time: 35 minutes
Baking Time: 30-45 minutes
Cost: apx. $13.50
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large leek, white and light green parts only, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces and washed
- 1 cup ricotta
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup Parmigianno Reggiano
- 1/2 packed cup chopped or torn fresh basil plus 1 tablespoon thinly sliced basil
- 1 egg, beaten
- 6 large slices tomato (apx. 3 1/2-inch diameter), cut in 1/4-inch slices then cut in half
- 1 large fresh mozzarella ball (ovoline), cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 1 (9-inch) prepared pie crust, whole wheat preferred*
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
*With vegetable pies, I only use a whole grain pie crust. You can't beat a whole wheat, scratch-made pie crust, but to save time I purchased Wholly Wholesome organic whole wheat frozen pie shells, available at The People's Food Coop and Arbor Farms.
1. Preheat oven to 400?.
2. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan to medium low. Add leeks and cook until tender, about 7-9 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reserve.
3. Combine ricotta, garlic, 3 tablespoons of the Parmesan and 1/2 cup basil, reserving remaining tablespoon basil for garnish. Season to taste with freshly ground pepper. Combine mixture with egg.
4. Line a baking sheet with paper towels or a clean cloth. In a single layer, place tomato slices on towels and lightly sprinkle with kosher salt. Allow to drain 15 minutes then press additional towels over tomatoes. This removes much of the liquid insuring a more dense pie.
5. Evenly spread cooked leeks on bottom of pie crust. With a spatula, spread seasoned ricotta over leeks. Arrange, like the spokes on a bicycle, tomato slice halves in a circular pattern over ricotta. Top with fresh mozzarella and evenly sprinkle with 1/2 cup Parmesan.
6. Bake on middle rack of oven 30-45 minutes or until cheese has set and crust is golden brown.
7. Let sit at least 10 minutes before slicing. Garnish with reserved basil and pine nuts.
This recipe was written by Peggy Lampman and originally posted on AnnArbor.com on Aug. 19, 2010.