Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Tomatoes, Tomatoes, Tomatoes

When I was growing up back in Virginia, summer was tomato season, usually starting around July. Here in Northern California tomatoes are usually ready for harvest starting in August. Everything is about two weeks late this year, so it's only recently that we really started to get constant ripe ones.

Some years I've grown up to twelve different varieties of tomatoes, but my favorite is the Black Krim, a tomato that is sort of brown when ripe. When you cut into it there are parts that look chartreuse and parts that are bright pink, with the rest the dark red-brown color. The flavor is pure tomato...intense, with both tang and sweetness. The largest ones are a little smaller than a tennis ball and the smallest a bit bigger than a golf ball. This year I grew two from seed. Last year I bought a seedling, but I think the ones I grow from seed do better.

Sweetie and I mostly enjoy them as a side dish/salad, sliced, then anointed with salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar, a drizzle of olive oil and a shower of fresh basil, like in the photo above. I also really like them as part of a sandwich, my two favorites being grilled tomato and cheddar cheese and the classic bacon-lettuce-tomato on toasted sourdough with good a mayo.

This week I baked a new recipe to me, a ham and tomato pie (but forgot to take a photo!). The recipe includes sautéed red onions and zucchini pieces, the sliced tomatoes, ham, cheddar cheese and a milk and egg custard, all baked in a pie shell. Not only does it taste amazing, but it smells heavenly, especially when it is almost fully baked. My only complaint was that it did weep a bit after cooling. I think next time I'll bake it at a high temperature just long enough to firm up the crust, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees F for the last 15-20 minutes so that the custard has a chance to firm up without too much heat.

I made the pie long enough ago that I've had to look up the recipe I use. Here's the recipe.

It's a good one.

Ham and Tomato Pie

1 pie crust (I use Pillsbury ReadyCrust) in a shallow pie pan, edges turned under and crimped, unbaked
1 (8-oz.) package diced cooked ham
1/2 yellow onion
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2-3 medium fresh tomatoes, sliced thinly and drained on paper towels
2 large eggs
2/3 cup half and half (I used Silk creamer)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, cook the ham and onions until ham has browned and liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.

Brush the bottom of the pie shell evenly with the Dijon mustard. Sprinkle with half the cheese. Spoon the ham mixture over the cheese. Top with an even layer of tomatoes.

In a medium bowl whisk the egg then add the half and half, basil and pepper. Pour over the top of the tomatoes in the pie. Finish with the second half of the shredded Cheddar cheese.

Bake in the preheated oven for 12 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F and bake an addition 20-30 minutes (or more) until the filling bounces back slightly when you push with an index finger. The crust and places on top of the pie should be browned.

Cool 15 minutes on a rack. Serve warm.

No comments :

Post a Comment