Tomato Pie with Chia Seeds and Yogurt
Well well well...it’s already July 31st! That means it’s my anniversary (8 years!) but also that summer is truly in full swing. And that means tomatoes are everywhere. I love this time of year because I can be truly picky about them. There’s no need to buy semi-ripe, tasteless ones from the market out of sheer desperation. I’ve been so spoiled with heirlooms and the awesome ruby red gems in my weekly Washington’s Green Grocer box. I honestly don’t know how I’m going to handle January. I better get a tomato canning day on the books...homemade sauce is on tap next!
But for now I want to share one of my most beloved recipes. Like so many of my favorite dishes, I owe tomato pie to the South, and my friend Laura, who introduced me to the concept a few years ago. And since I was home visiting my parents last week, I enlisted my mom’s help in making her famous pie crust. To say this turned out good would be an understatement. It was truly awesome. Plus, the addition of the chia seeds made it a great source of Omega 3s. I also omitted all the pre-made mayo. Who needs soybean oil? Not I!
Healthy + Heavenly. Ahhhhh...
1 top and bottom pie crust (see below for my two cents on this)
5-6 really ripe tomatoes (multicolored also look very pretty!)
½ cup chopped fresh basil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
¼ cup chia seeds
¼ cup homemade mayo (or your favorite kind)
¼ plain whole milk yogurt
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded (I used Organic Valley)
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (again -- OV)
salt, pepper, to taste
**First, the pie crust. Ok. I’m going to be blunt. You can buy these ready to go in the store or even the pre-made dough, but I swear, homemade crust just tastes so much better. You can use high quality ingredients and that comes through in the taste. My mom made this one using organic valley butter and Daisy flour. Another tip: use a pastry blender. I was sold on the food processor crust a la Martha Stewart (shown here when I made strawberry rhubarb) but this little tool kicks it out of the park. The crust was so light and flaky.
Her recipe is simple: 2 ½ cups flour, 2 sticks butter, 1 teaspoon salt, and ice cold water. She blends it all together in a big bowl with the pastry tool and then rolls it out using a pastry sleeve on her rolling pin on top of a canvas. We popped it in the oven for 20 minutes on 450 degrees before loading in the tomato filling, just so the crust wasn’t soggy. You may want to do the same if you use a premade crust.**
Now, the filling. You’ll want to peel your tomatoes before you chop them, so an easy way to do this is to blanch them in boiling water for about 10 seconds beforehand. Then, the skin literally peels off. It’s about 100 times easier than using a peeler. Then, chop the tomatoes. Don’t worry about draining them since the chia seeds will soak up the extra liquid.
Then, combine all the filling ingredients and mix well. Pour into your pre-heated crust. Top with another layer of crust. We used a steam bird so that the filling didn’t get mushy. Basket weave is also another way to do this. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes and then 350 for the last 20 minutes. Let stand for at least 30 minutes before serving.
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